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R.P. BenDedek

What's in the Book Basket this Week? Potpourri of topics.
By R.P. BenDedek
Mar 9, 2014 - 5:23:37 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 19) book titles worthy of attention but which may or may not currently be in the process of being reviewed by our reviewers and whose authors probably (but not always) have not provided us with any other material to publish.

We 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 23 to Sat March 8)
There was no Book Basket March 2nd

  1. Is Food Your Frenemy? by Dr. Sherrie Campbell author of 'Loving Yourself'
  2. The Will of God: Creator, Lover, Judge and Savior By H. Edward 'Ed' Schrier author of "The Battle of the Three Wills"
  3. Best Practices for Successful Online Dating By Nicky Rolland author of 'Stepping into Consciousness'
  4. 5 Ways Social Media is a Negative Influence On Self-Esteem by Dr. Sherrie Campbell author of 'Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person'

Book Reviews Published This Week

Milt Gross Book Review: "The Judge's Wife is Missing" by the late Dale German
Feb 23, 2014

The Judge's Wife is Missing is so well-written I thought the publisher was a "traditional" publisher, that is the publisher pays the writer for the manuscript and publishes it. The late author, Dale German, worked for the Atomic Energy Commission and Boeing Aircraft before his retirement. He died in 1999. The book was published in 2013. This is the first self-published book I've read that I think is really good.

BenDedek Book Review: "Joseph of Arimathea" by Brian Mellor
Feb 26, 2014

If you have the time and inclination to read an interesting historical fiction then by all means buy this book, although cost wise I think that the nook book price is most appropriate. I personally feel that the author would have benefitted by opting for their "Advanced Editorial" service. It seems obvious by some of the spelling and paragraph spacing errors in the latter part of my PDF version of the book, that this service was not purchased

BenDedek Book Review: "My Country and My People" by Lin Yutang
Mar 4, 2014

Having spent the last few years writing an account of my life in China and being near the final page, I have wondered if some of the statements I have made about China and the West were merely personal perspective for which I might later be reprimanded. Having now read "My Country and My People" I know that I have truly understood the culture of China and its people. Mr. Lin relates that Chinese have 'feminine emotional' thinking as opposed to 'masculine rational' thinking (p 249) and says that while they are well mannered to family, friends and acquaintances, "beyond that limit the Chinese as a social being is positively hostile toward his neighbor." He points out that the Chinese have a genius for contentment as well as a shrewd view of life derived from an old, mature, grown-up culture rather than the rash idealism to be found in self-important, young and foolish western cultures.

M. Stevens-David Review: "The Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland"
Mar 5, 2014

Upon receiving this book, "The Chronicles of Elizabeth Highland," Life, Love, Soul...Mate, by Elizabeth Highland, I had hoped that her personal story of living, dating and loving in this modern world, would be very interesting. But alas, that was not to be.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Beach Mysteries" by Anne Hotchkis
Mar 6, 2014

I just received my copy of "Beach Mysteries" by Anne Hotchkis and sat right down to read it. Noting that the book was written for ages nine and up, I found the photography/drawings to be exceptional and beautiful. I believe that most parents might purchase this book to read to children of all ages.

R.P. BenDedek

No 1

"Nation Building in Islamic Societies"

by Michael Nimier

"Nation Building in Islamic Societies" by Michael Nimier
As one Muslim state after another erupts into bloodshed the West stands horrified and perplexed. Why can't these countries become peaceful democracies like ours? The explanation is a tangled mix of history, culture and religion, and this intelligent book expertly separates the strands.

United Kingdom -- We in the West regard democracy as the natural form of government, but it is not. For proof we have only to look east, where much of the Islamic world remains in the grip of despotic rulers (some masquerading as democratically-elected) who are shored up by ethnic and tribal loyalties and a rigid religious code that seems unwilling or unable to adapt to the modern world.

In his thought-provoking new book, Middle East expert Michael Nimier examines why this is so, and objectively evaluates the prospects for change.


Nation Building in Islamic Societies is a provocative and long overdue analysis of the reasons why nation building in Islamic societies has failed and why, in the author's view, it will continue to do so for a considerable time yet. The raison d'etre of all Arab states that came into existence after the First World War was to promote the ambitions of the individual rulers and their families, be they kings, emirs or soldiers of fortune who usurped power through coups d'etat.

In the author's opinion western liberals, orientalists and leaders who call for "elections" as a prelude to stable and democratic societies are politically myopic and ignorant of sixth--century Islam's historical grip on these societies. Democracy is the end result of a lengthy historical process culminating in the deliverance of the individual and the emancipation of the family, the building bloc of a nation, and will not miraculously come into existence via the ballot box. The region, in its current Islamic year of 1434 AH Hijri, is on the eve of the very same convulsions and seismic changes that began to sweep the West in and around the year AD 1434.

About the Author:

Michael Nimier started his undergraduate studies at the Universita' di Roma and subsequently took up a scholarship at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He was awarded an MA in Area Studies and a PhD in Politics. His doctoral adviser was the late Prof P J Vatikiotis.

Nimier has been involved in international education as a teacher and administrator for over forty years. He has had a number of articles published in journals and newspapers around the world. He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East and is fluent in English, Italian, French and Arabic.

No. 2

"I Know All Save Myself Alone"

by Lisa Monde

"I Know All Save Myself Alone" by Lisa Monde
Lisa Monde has woven a historical drama that focus on the life of this Francois Villon in her play titled "I Know All Save Myself Alone." Francois Villon is best known for his "Testaments" and his "Ballade des Pendus". Born in poverty in Paris in 1430s, Francois Villon was known to be a person of unrestricting life and even had a reckless way of living common among the wilder youth of the University of Paris.

Francois Villon was the most mysterious and controversial poet of the Middle Ages. Unlike the romantic troubadours of his time, Villon's poetry celebrated earthly cravings and the harsh realities of everyday life.

Lisa Monde portrays Villon's true story in her book, "I Know All Save Myself Alone." The narrative follows Villon first as a scholar of Sorbonne in Paris to his descent into a life of petty theft, burglaries and murder. After banishment from Paris, Villon was left to wander in the precincts of the city, fighting for survival while retaining his fervent mind, sharp tongue, and skill of scoffing his ill wishers in his poems.

Villon's tracks have been lost over the centuries, leaving only his poetry. "I Know All Save Myself Alone" brings the life and mysterious disappearance of this influential poet to light.

Reviewed on February 16, 2014 at Magic City by M. Stevens-David

About I Know All Save Myself Alone by Lisa Monde

Lisa is the author of 8 musical librettos, several books for Musical Theatre shows and plays, including the Historical Drama "I Know All Save Myself Alone".

The area of her scientific interest is Musical Theatre. Starting from 2006 up to present she has written and published over 50 scientific works, some of them in the most prestigious scientific journals. Two books by Lisa Monde have been published in 2011 -- "The Health of the Singer's Voice " - a richly illustrated tutorial for singers, and the "Acmeology of the artistic performance", in which the issues of highest achievements of the Musical Theatre performers are being analyzed. (Read More)

No. 3

"Her Name is Sophia"

by Anna B. Moyer

"Her Name is Sophia" by Anna B. Moyer
In the average American household, pets are considered just another part of the family. Many would claim a scary similarity between the four-legged friends and their human counterparts.

In Anna B. Moyer's new children's book, "Her Name is Sophia," Moyer illustrates how "man's best friend" can have the same love of travel as their owner.

With inspiration from her own furry friend and illustrations by her oldest grandson, Christopher, she tells the story of a dog's yearning to leave the confined space of a cage and explore the world.

Moyer, a former teacher, wrote this book for young children to get excited about reading again and leave their video games and TV shows behind.

In the book, Sophia's owners installed an invisible fence to keep her from running away. Moyer thinks this is a metaphor for humans as well. She said the invisible fence was one way to try to fix a problem, but still, "dogs and people sometimes won't change."

Anna B. Moyer is a retired English teacher and reading specialist. She has been selected for Who's Who in American Education four times and has degrees from Lock Haven State College and Penn State University. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and Wire Fox Terrier, Sophia.

"Her Name is Sophia"
By Anna Moyer
ISBN: 978-1-4669-7275-9
Cost $13
Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Trafford Publishing online bookstores

No. 4.


R.J. Russell

"Life" R.J. Russell
RICHMOND, Calif. -- How do you break the cycle of poverty, poor education and apathy in the United States? Author R.J. Russell thinks speaking the tough truth with a clear voice is where to start.

His new book "LIFE" is an inspiring collection of poems that boldly discuss controversial issues all Americans face. Rooted in political, social and spiritual platforms, each poem tells a compelling story designed to inspire self-reflection and action.

Drawing from his personal struggles and Christian faith, Russell's poems inspire readers, both believers and non-believers, to examine their surroundings.

"My poems spread truth," Russell said. "They encourage people to pay attention to the world around them and not buy into what tabloids say."

Russell's rhymes discuss contentious issues faced by most lower- and middle-class Americans. They explain the harsh realities of the world while remaining timely as they inspire readers to overcome personal and spiritual challenges.

"We're all burdened by the onslaughts of the world," Russell said. "While the poems cut no corners for comfort's sake, they remain uplifting and give hope for a better future.

"Life: Efficacious Thoughts in Rhyme"
By Ralph Russell
ISBN: 978-1-4772-6291-7
Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble online bookstores.

No. 5.

"When Clans Collide"

By Wayne Rudolph Davidson

"When Clans Collide" By Wayne Rudolph Davidson
Author Wayne Davidson was inspired to research his own genealogy after reading a distant cousin's account of her family history.

"Few books exist that informed me of where I came from, where I had been and where I should be going," said Davidson. "So, I fulfilled the desire to learn by researching it myself."

Davidson starts his book, "When Clans Collide," in the Middle Ages with the surname Davidson. From there he followed his family through the years well into the 1970s and beyond. Recent projects like "The Race Card Project," led by Michele Norris - formerly of NPR - allow candid submissions from those who have discovered their family history in some way and are either shocked or surprised by their findings.

Everyone has a story, according to Davidson, and finding more about family heritage can help remedy and enhance social, economic and medical circumstances. "There is an infinite number of human stories in the library of life," said Davidson. "This particular story is my own and it is complimentary to other books of discovery of the heritage of people and families of African descent and the Native American ancestries in America."

Davidson urges others to research even a bit of their own family history. If not for medical or economic reasons, Davidson believes that you might just be surprised at what you find.

Wayne Rudolph Davidson, a research analyst, earned a doctoral degree in management and organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix. He is also the author of "Manufacturing African American Self-Employment in the Detroit Metropolitan Area." He and his wife, Bertha, have four girls with four-year college degrees and one granddaughter. They currently live in Michigan.

"When Clans Collide"
By Wayne Rudolph Davidson
ISBN: 978-1-4582-1245-0
Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Abbott Press

No. 6

"Dear Bob"

by William A. Luke.

"Dear Bob" by William A. Luke
Roughly 16 million men valiantly served in World War II; only about 1 million of those veterans are alive today. As members of the historical 'greatest generation' begin to perish, preserving their memory becomes essential.

"Dear Bob" is the newly published memoir of WWII veteran, William A. Luke. The book is comprised of letters that Luke wrote to his brother, Bob, throughout the course of a 20-year period.

"The letters offer a historic and unparalleled view of WWII, American history and the history of my family," Luke said. "By chronicling this period, I hope to preserve the memories of family, friends and fallen comrades. My wish is for everyone who reads the book to smile, remember their own life story and enjoy mine."

From comical hijinks to depression and despair, "Dear Bob" provides a candid view of American history told through the eyes of a close-knit military family.

William A. Luke was born December 20, 1924 in Iron Mountain, Michigan. He began compiling copies of letters to his brother, Bob, throughout a period of 20+ years. Upon the passing of his longtime wife, Beverly, he decided to compile the letters into a published book. With the help of his daughter, Elizabeth, the pair has successfully chronicled both family and United States history. Bill currently resides in Mooresville, N.C. and is looking forward to writing to releasing a sequel in the coming year.

"Dear Bob"
By William A. Luke
Price: $14.99
ISBN: 978-1-4669-7686-3

No. 7.

"Aging Aggressively"

by Thomas Jones and John Cotton

"Aging Aggressively" by Thomas Jones and John Cotton
You're not dead yet! That is the message of Thomas Jones and John Cotton in their new book, Aging Aggressively. They want you to take the bull by the horns and take charge of your health. If you are an individual in the United States over 50 years old, it is important to understand what is going on when it comes to health-care policies and doctor-patient relations so you can aggressively demand the best care. Once you know the ins and outs, you'll feel more confident and enjoy the aging process. This information includes knowing the steps and missteps that brought the diagnostic tests and medication to the attention of you and your doctor.

You can and should be certain that your voice is heard in every aspect of social and medical planning. This includes being aware that your doctor may not have the same agenda as yourself, so learn to say "no"--particularly to diagnostic tests and medication not tested in your age group. Aging Aggressively offers advice on personal health practices, including valuable resources to help you successfully manage your health, and how to fill your life with humor, animals, music and memories.

"As a member of the elderly population in the United States, you are part of a significant numerical force in society," Jones said. Aging Aggressively also describes the impending disaster in the present Medicare/Medicaid system, primarily due to the poor planning of proper and adequate funding for the federal program. Jones describes alternate health care funding used in others countries as well as in a few states in the U.S. Jones also states it is likely you need to plan your own health care funding, thus not relying on Federal or State funds--although they have been promised.

"This book attempts to provide a basis for the elderly to have fun with their lives, to enjoy particularly their memories of their own lives and to limit to a minimum relying on a broken health care system," Jones said.

Thomas C. Jones, MD, is an emeritus adjunct professor of medicine and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. He has had an extensive career in medicine, both in practice and education. He is a highly respected research physician trained in infectious diseases, international medicine, and public health.

John F. Cotton, MS, has extensive experience in planning and development positions for state, local, corporate and educational functions. He has played an important role in originating and administering the details of health care-related federal programs and policies.

"Aging Aggressively"
By: Thomas Jones, MD
John Cotton, MS
Betsy M. Chalfin M.Ed
ISBN: 978-1-45258-662-5
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Balboa online bookstores.

No. 8.

"Rational Relating"

by Damon L. Jacobs

"Rational Relating" by Damon L. Jacobs
Many Americans wait to pursue counseling until their relationships are on the verge of devastation, but licensed marriage and family therapist Damon L. Jacobs would like nothing more than to be obsolete. In his new book "Rational Relating," Jacobs offers candid relationship advice that can be helpful to couples entering a new relationship as well as those coming to a critical phase in their relationship where the couple must make difficult decisions.

"I hope that readers will use this book as an ongoing assessment and guide for their relationships," Jacobs said. "By building a foundation that is unique to each couple, people can maintain relationships that can last through the most difficult of seasons."

Jacobs outlines five "pillars" that will uphold and sustain emotional connections--even during rough times. New couples can learn to communicate with one another and avoid unnecessary arguments, while established couples can develop more meaningful connections and tools to solve problems. Readers will be intrigued by Jacobs' idea that the word "cheating" can do more damage than the act itself: Jacobs advocates the practice of polyamory, helping couples create and negotiate agreements about sexual and emotional expression outside their primary relationship.

Jacobs suggests that he would rather couples utilize his book to navigate their relationships before they have lost hope than come to him for counseling at a higher monetary and emotional cost.

Damon L. Jacobs has worked as a marriage and family therapist since 1996. His years of helping couples led him to develop an effective and comprehensive framework for helping couples enhance joy, serenity, and pleasure in their relationships. His ideas combine psychological theories, spiritual perspectives, social justice, and the newer science of seismic retrofitting in order to allow couples to create a unique and sustainable "structure." He currently maintains his private practice in Manhattan, New York.

"Rational Relating"
By Damon L. Jacobs
ISBN (softcover): ISBN 978-1452581774
ISBN (e-book): ISBN 978-1452581781
Available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Balboa Press online bookstores.

No. 9.

"Let the Power Within Free You Completely"

by Omer Dawson

"Let the Power Within Free You Completely" by Omer Dawson
When one concentrates too heavily on their guilt from past sins their spiritual growth is held back. Author Omer Dawson truly believes in this concept turning it into the backbone of his new book, "Let the Power Within Free You Completely."

In the form of a guidebook, "Let the Power Within Free You Completely" helps relay the concept that humans are not born in sin thanks to Jesus' sacrifice. Dawson wants to help people forget the past, concentrate on the present and avoid panicking about the future.

"I want people to stop worrying about every little rule that religion has placed on them," Dawson said. "I want them to focus on finding the truth in their faith, which will ultimately help their spirit prosper for eternity."

Mankind was not born in sin and there is a system in place to help forgive whatever new ones a person commits. Dawson just wants people to relax, enjoy their faith and enhance their spiritual well-being.

Omer Dawson was an art teacher for 35 years helping his students find beauty in life. After meeting Brother Mandus of Blackpool, Dawson became a Child of Light. Now he has altered his goals to help people not only find beauty in life, but also a path to truth.

"Let the Power Within Free You Completely"
By: Omer Dawson
SC-ISBN: 978-1-4917-1159-0
SC-Retail price: $9.95
Available at and

No. 10

"Joseph of Arimathea"

by Brian Mellor

"Joseph of Arimathea" by Brian Mellor
A book that took 7 years of research to complete, "Joseph of Arimathea" by retired high school teacher entertains such plots as Pontius Pilate's reluctance to crucify Jesus, Jesus' secret marriage to Mary Magdalene, and the Assembly of High Judges and how they intended to control Jesus' life. Skepticisms stemming from Brian Mellor's Anglican childhood led to the alternative plots found in his new book.

"I want readers to take away a sense of enjoyment and added knowledge that history is written by the victors and the real stories are buried some where between the losers and victors," Mellor says. "Do not take for granted that all you have read is as it really was."

This book was reviewed at Magic City February 26, 2014 by R.P. Bendedek

  • The author's knowledge and understanding of the ancient world, its politics, religions and cultures is both obvious and extensive and I am not ashamed to state that I recorded a list of words/topics contained in the book which I later researched. How many of us know that 'Allah,' the Islamic name of God, actually precedes Islam by hundreds of years, as does also the name 'Saracen?' Who knew that Glastonbury in England held such a prominent place in early Christian mythology.

"Joseph of Arimathea"
by Brian Mellor
ISBN-13: 9781466953956
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Publication date: 8/22/2012
Pages: 456

No. 11

"Accountability Citizenship"

by Stephen P. Tryon

"Accountability Citizenship" by Stephen P. Tryon
The institution of Congress is in crisis. The 113th Congress finished 2013 as the least productive Congress in American history, passing fewer than 60 laws. That figure is a staggering 335 bills less than the 395 passed by the infamous "Do Nothing Congress" of 1947. At the start of 2014, only 14% approved of Congress' approval rating was mind-boggling - a mere 14%.

As the author of the new Accountability Citizenship, Stephen P. Tryon offers a wealth of information on why Americans need to vote more in Congressional elections, why Congressional elections are more important than presidential elections, and what Americans can do to communicate more effectively with their representatives so Congress can be more productive.

Stephen Tryon is a Senior Vice President, Human Capital Management for online retailer, with responsibility for Facilities and the sustainability program. His past assignments at included managing the company's logistics operations and international business. He joined Overstock in 2004 after 21 years as a Soldier.

While in uniform, Steve served as the Legislative Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army, Director of Plans for the 10th Mountain Division, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the United States Military Academy, and commander of a company of paratroopers. He holds degrees from the United States Military Academy and Stanford University and is the author of Accountability Citizenship (2013).

You can read more about this book in an article published on our website on August 26, 2013 titled: Voter apathy in the United States


To purchase Accountability Citizenship, please visit and

No. 12

"The Geoma Tree"

by Shelly Penn

"The Geoma Tree" by Shelly Penn
Who better to author a children's book than a busy mother-of-three and in-home childcare provider?

"The Geoma Tree" is an uplifting, educational children's book, intended to both educate children on geometric shapes and the importance of uniqueness, individuality and acceptance of others. For toddlers through children in elementary school, the book's universal message will appeal to and benefit any child.

With colorful, whimsical illustrations, "The Geoma Tree" follows Circle, a melancholy shape left feeling a little insecure alongside the other shapes. Over time, Geoma Tree demonstrates the beauty in differences, teaching Circle that every shape is to be celebrated and adored.

Penn hopes the book can be used to establish a dialogue with children on the importance of self-esteem, inclusion of others, overcoming jealousy and teaching acceptance of all.

Shelly Penn graduated from Upper Iowa University with a degree in elementary education and an endorsement in early childhood education. Penn opened her home- based childcare program, Stay and Play Daycare, in 2004. She lives in Parkersburg, Iowa, with her husband and three children and has lead or assisted with children's ministries since 2008.

"The Geoma Tree"
by Shelly Penn
Paperback: 24 pages
ISBN-10: 1490810072
ISBN-13: 978-1490810072
Publisher: WestBow Press A Division of Thomas Nelson (October 17, 2013)

No 13.

"La Petite Assiette"

by Patricia Harrington

"La Petite Assiette" by Patricia Harrington
Confronted by her own health and dietary limitations -- gluten intolerance and Mastocytosis, a blood disorder causing reactivity to a long list of medications, air born allergens, food allergies and periodic debilitating fatigue --Patricia Harrington refused to opt out of the joys of food and healthy living. Instead, she wrote her own cookbook.

"La Petite Assiette" is the quintessential tool for those, albeit by necessity or desire, seeking a delicious, healthy alternative to a wheat based diet. Written by a lifelong foodie, homemaker, and self-taught cook and baker, Patricia Harrington is passionate about healthy, clean eating, local sustainability, family tradition and comfort food. Her emphasis on using heirloom varietals from local farmers is a constant theme throughout her gluten free recipes.

As a dancer, Patricia developed a keen awareness of the body and how it works. Suffering through a serious strain of the 1918 influenza in college forced Patricia to research the long lasting health effects of contracting this strain of flu. Eating healthy food and living a healthy lifestyle that nourishes the body and mind has been a necessity for her.

"Having to change your food preferences to accommodate a food allergy or autoimmune disorder can be confusing and discouraging. Hopefully, my cookbook helps the cook feel confident and encouraged to bake again," Harrington said.

Patricia Harrington is a gluten free cook and baker living in Portland, Oregon. She has worked for popular catering companies in Portland, Oregon and in Santa Barbara, California. She has been owner of several small catering companies, including an on-site food service for small film crews in the Portland area. Her most recent catering venture, La Petite Assiette -- "the small plate" -- came about while working at a wine bar; she paired food with the weekly wine tasting, with an emphasis on produce and cheeses from local farmers. Her travels thru France and Spain have influenced and inspired her desire to continue to blend the sophistication of city meals with the ease of country cooking and then making it all gluten free.

No. 14


by W.A. Salmon

"Meanderings" by W.A. Salmon
According to the Census Bureau there are more than 350,000,000 people in North America, so why do we focus so much attention on celebrities and politicians as opposed to the voices of the many? W.A. Salmon, Author of "Meanderings," considers himself to be an average bloke with a lot on his mind. He has spent his adult life turning those thoughts into poems and short stories written to provide insight into the world of an everyday citizen.

"I've seen a lot of injustice and betrayal take place in this world on both a personal and global scale," Salmon said. "I write with these themes in mind to make people think about their daily lives."

"Meanderings" stresses the importance of social issues drawn from news topics seen in black and white everyday, but also includes the lighter side with some fantasy and wordplay to lighten the read.

"Unlike the majority of news we see I do not want my book to rely solely on negativity," Salmon said. "I have included works of fantasy and myth to provide an escape with a dash of positivity for my readers."

W.A. Salmon is a longshoreman by trade, but studied English Literature in Langara College. He started writing as a child, including placing second in a poetry contest only falling short of the top prize because they thought an adult helped him. In the early 1980's Salmon was participating in an acting class when the group asked him to use his creative flair to write them a series of new scripts. He has been channeling that creative writing ever since and has turned his years of work into the collection, "Meanderings."

By: W.A. Salmon
SC-ISBN: 978-1-5539-5297-8
SC-Retail price: $20
Available at and

No. 15

Havens of Pompeii: Some Things Always Survive

by Nicole Louw

"Havens of Pompeii: Some Things Always Survive" by Nicole Louw
The impending destruction wrought by the catastrophic eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in ancient Pompeii is the dramatic backdrop of Nicole Louw's riveting work of historical fiction, Havens of Pompeii: Some Things Always Survive. Inspired by real-life characters and events, Louw tells the story of Valerus, an injured gladiator who returns home to Herculaneum with a gift of three dancing girls for his father. Unfortunately, his well-meant gesture backfires when Valerus falls in love with one of the girls, a shy and withdrawn Briton -- and secret Christian -- named Flavia.

Initially cruel to Flavia, Valerus is subsequently drawn to the complex slave; her ambition and dedication influence him strongly, leading him to a new way of viewing the world and his life. All too aware of his father's ownership of Flavia, Valerus struggles to liberate her from her cruel fate. Overshadowing this strife is the impending danger beneath the mountain that first brought them together.

"I've been fascinated with the story of Pompeii since I was eight and saw a picture of a soldier collapsing from the blast of Vesuvius," says Louw. "Something hit me and stayed with me until I started writing the book at age 16. I stored the manuscript on a disk, which I rediscovered 10 years later. I rewrote the story as an adult, after conducting extensive research so that I could accurately portray the Roman Empire and the calamity of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

"Havens of Pompeii," explains Louw, "includes in-depth descriptions of real houses and real people as well as the political system of the Roman Empire at that time. It also chronicles the catastrophic eruptions of the mountain and the devastating effects, intertwined with the love story of a slave girl and her owner's son, a nobleman."

No 16

"Addiction on Trial: Tragedy in Downeast Maine"

by Steven Kassels

"Addiction on Trial" by Steven Kassels
Addiction on Trial: Tragedy in Downeast Maine" by Steven Kassels is a unique medical murder mystery legal thriller that entertains audiences and educates readers through the realistic depiction of the struggles of addiction.

The book dissects our societal discrimination toward drug addicts and explores common misperceptions of what addiction really is -- a chronic illness requiring a similar treatment approach as other chronic diseases.

The medical topics unfold while the reader is exposed to a riveting murder trial and the adventures of Shawn Marks, the egotistical but likeable Boston big shot attorney, who juggles an array of female companions without taking his eye off the legal challenges of his work.

The book exposes the real challenges of addicts and their families through a trio of characters who are drug dependent on heroin and cocaine as well as a father who is consumed by alcoholism.

Kassels hopes the book will help to clearly define the disease of addiction as an equal opportunity illness that has no socio-economic barriers.

"Addiction on Trial" combines Dr. Kassels's professional experiences with current events by delivering its messages in a non-scientific, approachable way in hopes of changing hearts and minds of how best to approach the scourge of addiction.

Dr. Steven Kassels is an author and physician who has been board certified in Addiction Medicine and Emergency Medicine. A graduate of Milton Academy and Lake Forest College, he received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. He has served as chief of Emergency Medicine at an inner city hospital and currently serves as the medical director and founder of Community Substance Abuse Centers. Dr. Kassels is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and has presented numerous lectures and round table discussions on drug abuse related topics. Dr. Kassels currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts and Downeast Maine.

"Addiction on Trial"
by Steven Kassels
Hardcover: 978-1-4918-2531-0, $26.09
Softcover: 978-1-4918-2532-7, $13.46
E-Book: 978-1-49182-530-3, $3.99
Available at,,,

No. 17

"An Angel Without A Name: Hearing Your Voice"

by Mary E. Sims

"An Angel Without A Name: Hearing Your Voice" by Mary E. Sims
After finding the strength to walk away from the Pentecostal church she was raised in, Mary E. Sims finally gained the freedom to explore the world through her own eyes.

Sims said, "I set my mind free from the religious chains that had me bound for many years."

Twenty years later, she found herself addicted to drugs, lost and afraid. Just as she found the strength to walk away from the church, she had to listen to the voice in her head to lead her to the path of peace and positivity once again.

In Sims' new book, "An Angel Without A Name: Hearing Your Voice," she explains how she identified that voice and hopes to help others do the same.

"There is comfort in becoming aware of the higher self, which is forever present and all-knowing," Sims said. "We must be able to listen and eventually allow that voice to become one with our own voice."

"An Angel Without A Name" is a sequel to Sims' previous book, "Going Home Another Way." She hopes to answer questions readers might have had from that book and delve deeper into the voice we all have inside our heads.

Mary E. Sims is a certified hypnotherapist and Reiki master and author of "Going Home Another Way." Sims, who claims to have a keen sixth sense and the ability to see into the future, has experienced many supernatural events that have changed her life and consequently inspired her books. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

"An Angel Without a Name: Hearing Your Voice"
By Mary E. Sims
ISBN: 978-1-4525-8375-4
Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Balboa Press online bookstores and

No. 18

"Sunshine After Rain: One Woman's Journey to a Better Life"

by J.R. Lucy

"Sunshine After Rain: One Woman's Journey to a Better Life" by J.R. Luc
Being unhappy in your marriage is one thing; doing something about it is quite another. In her new book, "Sunshine After Rain: One Woman's Journey to a Better Life", author J.R. Lucy leads readers through her own experiences with divorce, abuse and unhappiness and proves that it is never too late to find the life you deserve.

"Sunshine After Rain" is a true account of the challenges Lucy has faced and how she has strived to overcome them, even as a woman in her golden years. After surviving mental and physical abuse from her parents, her first divorce and becoming financially unstable, Lucy went on to marry for the second time. Twenty-five years later she discovered he was not someone she could picture herself spending the rest of her life with and decided to divorce him, even if it meant being put under great financial strain.

After moving back in with her mother, she found herself faced with another set of challenges: menopause, online dating and depression. When Lucy sought the help of a psychiatrist, her counseling inspired her to fight for her own happiness.

"I wrote this book because I felt there were a lot of other women who, in their later years, find that life has not turned out the way that they would have liked," said Lucy, "I spent two years saving money in my Running Away account, left my husband a month after turning 60 and nine years later, I am a very happy senior woman."

Lucy's book is an inspirational story that will leave readers feeling empowered to take control of their lives and their happiness, no matter their age, financial state or position in life.

Born and raised in Australia J.R. Lucy survived an unstable living environment growing up. After the birth of her daughter in 1970, Lucy left her first husband. In 2004, she left her unfulfilling second marriage to start a life she could enjoy. Lucy is now living as a single senior person with a dear friend.

"Sunshine After Rain: One Woman's Journey to a Better Life"
By: J.R. Lucy
ISBN: 978-1-4907-0986-4 (sc)
978-1-4907-0987-1 (hc)
978-1-4907-0988-8 (e)
Available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Trafford

No. 19

"The Hour of Parade"

by Alan Bray

"The Hour of Parade" by Alan Bray
Heavily influenced by, and interwoven with, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's wildly-popular 18th century epistolary novel, Julie or the New Heloise, author Alan Bray's debut offering, The Hour of Parade, delves into the complexities of human nature, offering an in-depth look at how time and circumstance shape the lives of those brought to life within its pages.

The year is 1806, and Russian cavalry officer Alexi Ruzhensky journeys to Munich to kill the man responsible for murdering his brother in a duel, French officer Louis Valsin. Already thwarted once at the Battle of Austerlitz, Alexi has been told by his father not to fail again.

But Alexi is tired of killing. Obsessed by the main character in Julie, he becomes romantically entangled with a seductive and practical-minded young Bavarian woman and tries to forget his father's instructions.

That becomes difficult to do. Alexi learns not only that Valsin is indeed in Munich, but that the circumstances of his brother's death may have been less clear cut than he believed. And he learns that the Russian soldier who wounded him at Austerlitz as he tried to kill Valsin was actually a woman--Valsin's mistress, Anne-Marie, dressed as a man.

When Alexi finally meets Valsin and Anne-Marie--who proves to be as desirable as Julie herself--he hides his true identity, delaying vengeance for companionship and perhaps even love. As the three grow closer, tensions mount as Alexi and Anne-Marie desperately struggle to resist their growing attraction.

"One universal theme that permeates this book is the power of sexual attraction and how it may, or may not, lead to bad choices," says Bray. "Julie is very much about different aspects of male/female love, including the erotic experience of women, and is reflected in the pages of The Hour of Parade. In those times, women were more constrained in what they could do and who they could be but they were still women. In order to survive, the female characters in The Hour of Parade face a stark choice between living with a man or being a prostitute. They are not in a chaste 'Jane Austen' fictional world but one that is harsher and more sexual."

As the novel comes to its explosive conclusion, Alexi will learn that revenge cannot be forgotten so easily. An intricately woven history of love, lust, and murder, The Hour of Parade proves itself an epic romance for the ages.

Alan Bray, a Detroit native, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from University of Michigan and a Masters in Social Work from Wayne State University. He worked as a musician and then psychotherapist in Michigan and Illinois before moving his family to New Hampshire, where he began writing fiction.

Bray has published stories in Per Contra, The Citron Review, 10,000 Tons of Black Ink, Ink and Coda., TQR Stories, and Gone Lawn Journal.


The Hour of Parade can be purchased from and

No. 20

"The Threshold"

by Michael D. Rourke

"The Threshold" Michael D. Rourke
Through acceptance and devotion, author Michael D. Rourke's new book, "The Threshold," Volume One, states that God can transform anyone's life from one of sin to one of believing in faith.

Rourke didn't always believe God had a place in his life. He spent much of his life questioning its meaning and his purpose as he battled personal and family issues such as undiscovered dyslexia and his father's alcoholism. Laughter, wine women and song served to balance out his searching teenage years.

At the age of 21, Rourke suffered a traumatic brain injury that wiped away his memory. Diary writing led to lyric writing, both became Rourke's outlet as he healed. Eventually, he began a fast-paced adventure through Hollywood writing songs in a rock band. Ultimately, this career path became his downfall.

Rourke continued his rebellious edge while in Hollywood maintaining the habits of his 'so called' casual drug and alcohol abuse. At the age of 36, Rourke found himself having fallen too deep into this world as his dreams came crashing down. Rourke believes at his lowest point God's grace saved him from a life without true Christian hope, or eternal purpose and placed him into the family of God.

Out of his love for Jesus Rourke began to pen his story about how he received and accepted God's grace into his life on a growing path of purpose to glorify God. In "The Threshold," readers can follow Rourke's heartfelt journey and learn how God can save the most unsuspecting of people.

"God transformed my life, and God can transform anyone's life," Rourke said.

Michael D. Rourke is a born-again Christian for 24 years who has had his share of obstacles throughout his life both with and without God. Rourke spent many years writing 260 diaries as resource material for his two volumes.

"The Threshold" Volume One
By: Michael D. Rourke
ISBN: 978-1-44976-190-5
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Westbow online bookstores.

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