Get To Be Happy by Ted Larkins – Book Spotlight

Get To Be Happy: Stories and Secrets to Loving the Sh*t Out Of Life

By Ted Larkins

Genre: Autobiography/Self Help

The secret to my happiness started during my high school days (yes, drugs were involved) and continued through hitchhiking across the country, through the suicide of my girlfriend, through bartending in many cities around the country and then a move to Japan. I lived there for nine years, helping start a $500 million business, including a LARKINS (my last name) line of product, finding enlightenment and meditating in Zen temples in the mountains of Hiroshima, meeting Mother Teresa in Calcutta, partying with Bon Jovi, experiencing the death of my business partner and then the loss of my daughter, and all the life lessons that come with the following statement: I Get To do this!

About the Author

Ted Larkins is an author, speaker and accomplished business executive and entrepreneur. Through his book and keynote talks, he shares the powerful Get To Principle, the ability to say “I Get To” as opposed to “I have to”. Ted also co-developed a leading entertainment licensing company in Tokyo, representing major movie studios that included Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. He’s worked on projects with Jon Bon Jovi, Jack Nicklaus, Mariah Carey, and many other artists. He is former Senior Vice President of the North American division of CPLG, one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agencies. He is on the board of directors of the Licensing Industry Merchandise Association (LIMA), co-chairing the charity committee and sitting on the executive committee. He is a guest lecturer for the UCLAx Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts program.

Over the last year and a half, during his daily 4 hour train commute to work in Hollywood, he wrote the book, “Get To Be Happy: Stories and Secrets On Loving the Sh*t Out of Life. Ted lives with his wife of 22 years and their two children in Southern California.

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The Hush By John Hart


The only writer in history to win consecutive Edgar Awards for Best Novel, New York Times bestselling author John Hart returns to the world of his most beloved novel, The Last Child

Building on the world first seen in The Last Child (“A magnificent creation” —The Washington Post), John Hart delivers a stunning vision of a secret world, rarely seen.

It’s been ten years since the events that changed Johnny Merrimon’s life and rocked his hometown to the core. Since then, Johnny has fought to maintain his privacy, but books have been written of his exploits; the fascination remains. Living alone on six thousand acres of once-sacred land, Johnny’s only connection to normal life is his old friend, Jack. They’re not boys anymore, but the bonds remain. What they shared. What they lost.

But Jack sees danger in the wild places Johnny calls home; he senses darkness and hunger, an intractable intent. Johnny will discuss none of it, but there are the things he knows, the things he can do. A lesser friend might accept such abilities as a gift, but Jack has felt what moves in the swamp: the cold of it, the unspeakable fear.

More than an exploration of friendship, persistence, and forgotten power, The Hush leaves all categories behind, and cements Hart’s status as a writer of unique power.


Johnny and Jack have been best friends forever and have been through more than most friends. Check out The Last Child for more information about their past. Johnny has chosen to be a hermit and live on his land called Hush Arbor. Strange things occur on Hush Arbor. These strange things land Johnny in a mess of trouble.

Well….this is different! Really different! I think this book is classified wrong. It is classified as general fiction. I think it is more thriller/horror/fantasy. It really could fall into all those categories. I have been a fan of John Hart for a very long time. He took a chance with this book. But, it does show a unique, creative side of his mind. And I am thoroughly impressed!

The story may be strange and out of my genre but it was so compelling I could not stop reading. I fell for Johnny during The Last Child. He is a character which begs to be saved. Jack tries so hard to be there for him through thick and thin. There are some things Jack just cannot save him from.

The characters, the story, the mystery, all of these come together to create a page turner, an edge of your seat read….all the cliches fit this book! If done properly, this book would make a great movie!

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.

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The Senior Sleuths: Dead in Bed by M. Glenda Rosen – BOOK SPOTLIGHT

The Senior Sleuths: Dead In Bed

By M. Glenda Rosen

Genre: Mystery

Like Nick and Nora Charles from “The Thin Man” series, Dick and Dora Zimmerman solve crimes, especially murders.” Along with Zero the Bookie (fashioned after the authors father) and a fascinating cast of other characters (such as Frankie Socks fresh out of the Witness Protection Program) the Zimmerman’s have the time-the money, the smarts and the chutzpah-to get involved in murder and mayhem, even when warned by the police to stay away…or else.

In these modern noir stories, the hard-boiled detectives are soft-boiled sleuths whose inner shell is softer and gentler, although their outer shell is still tough and determined. Of course, they can still be nearly beaten by the bad guys. But it is the puzzle of the mystery and putting the pieces together to solve it that matters.

“No doubt, thanks to my father, writing mysteries is in my DNA!  My father was a small time gangster. Really! So, it wouldn’t take a genius, a psychiatrist or a palm reader to figure out the geneses of my fascination with crime and criminals.  In my series, “The Senior Sleuths,” Zero the Bookie is a version of my dad and several other characters are based on his associates who I met, like Doc, The Gimp, Johnny the Jig, Fat Lawyer and others. What a wealth of material there was for me to claim! Believe me, I saw and heard a lot.”

This series is the senior version of Nick and Nora Charles, with a humorous touch, a splash of noir, cracker-jack sleuthing, unusual, captivating characters, and fascinating mysteries.  —Marilyn Meredith, Author of the “Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mysteries

About the Author

Marcia Rosen has previously published four books in her mystery series, “Dying to Be Beautiful.”  Rosen is also author of “The Woman’s Business Therapist” and award winning “My Memoir Workbook. For a dozen years she has given writing workshops on “Encouraging and Supporting the Writer Within You!” and “Now What? Marketing Your Book.”  She was founder and owner of a successful Marketing and Public Relations Agency for many years, created several radio and TV talk shows and received numerous awards for her work with business and professional women.  She currently resides in Carmel, California.  www.theseniorsleuths.

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris


The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Lale used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught, he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.

There have been many books about the Holocaust – and there will be many more. What makes this one so memorable is Lale Sokolov’s incredible zest for life. He understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners, and he was determined to survive – not just to survive but to leave the camp with his dignity and integrity intact, to live his life to the full. Terrible though this story is, it is also a story of hope and of courage. It is also – almost unbelievably – a love story. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight, and he determined not only to survive himself but to ensure that Gita did, too. His story – their story – will make you weep, but you will also find it uplifting. It shows the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.

Like many survivors, Lale and Gita told few people their story after the war. They eventually made their way to Australia, where they raised a son and had a successful life. But when Gita died, Lale felt he could no longer carry the burden of their past alone. He chose to tell his story.


Lale is the person who tattoos the numbers on all the prisoners of Auschwitz and Birkenau. This gives him some advantages the other prisoners do not have. He has more freedom and more rations. He does his best to share with everyone. Lale is also a thief. He has to be to survive. Gita is another prisoner. She meets Lale when he tattoos her arm. This changes their lives forever.

When I read a holocaust book, it always brings forefront…Man’s inhumanity to man. This book is no different. The starvation, the intelligence to survive, the pure meanness of the Nazis always amaze me. Lale and Gita have to be tough and smart to survive. And they did survive and find their way back to each other when the war ended.

However, for some reason, there is something missing in this novel. I think the character development could be so much better. I did not feel the connection to Lale and Gita as I should have. I also did not feel the connection BETWEEN Lale and Gita was very strong. But, this is still a good read with a strong love story throughout.

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.

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Gables Court – Alan S. Kessler – BOOK SPOTLIGHT


Age 24, Samuel Baas is a romantic and virgin who wants love and marriage before sex. After moving from staid New England to the hothouse world of Miami, he falls in love with Kate, the college girl he wants to marry. She isn’t interested in becoming anyone’s little wife. For her, sex is recreational.

A lawyer, Baas represents an accused Nazi war criminal and Haitians who, if deported, face retribution from the murderous Tonton Macoute. Head of a crime family, his father takes a special interest in his son’s legal career.  In this complicated world, Baas dates and tries to answer the central question in his life,

“Is love for someone else?”

Loneliness isn’t gender specific nor is alienation just a phase.

Over a span of ten years, Samuel Baas journeys toward intimacy—and his people

Gables Court isn’t intended to moralize about what is right or wrong. Without borders or mass, a mixture of joy, heartache, confusion, and mystery, love follows its own rules.

Publication date: January 11, 2018

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Dead Lines by Grace Hamilton – Book Spotlight – GIVEAWAY

Dead Lines

By Grace Hamilton

Genre: Science Fiction/ Post-Apoc

Book Description

911 operator Jim Parker wants—more than anything—to be useful again. When a catastrophic EMP strikes, and he’s the last person a kidnapped girl speaks to before the lines go dead, he knows he can’t let her down. Especially when the circumstances are so similar to his own daughter’s disappearance. With the world falling apart around him, he wants to do nothing more than retreat to his prepper cabin. But with a fresh lead on his daughter, and another innocent girl’s life on the line, the disgraced cop will do everything in his power to track them down.

Finn Meyers has lost Ava, her best, and only, friend in the world, but she knows where the

missing young woman might be—and perhaps Parker’s long lost daughter. Now, Parker must form an uneasy alliance and tackle his own internal demons as the two begin a perilous journey that will take them to the headquarters of a mysterious cult in Indiana.

But what they find along the way will shatter all their preconceptions—and threaten the world as they know it. Can a has-been and a has-not save the innocent, and stop a disaster from happening?

Author Bio

Grace Hamilton wasn’t always a prepper. But after being stuck in a mountain cabin for 6 days following a flash flood, she decided she never wanted to feel so powerless or have to send her kids to bed hungry again. Now she lives the prepper lifestyle and knows that if SHTF or TEOTWAWKI, she’ll be ready to help protect and provide for her family.

Combine this survivalist mentality with a vivid imagination (as well as a slightly unhealthy day dreaming habit) and you get a prepper fiction author. Grace spends her days thinking about the worst possible survival situations that a person could be thrown into, then throwing her characters into these nightmares while trying to figure out “What SHOULD you do in this situation”

It’s her wish that through her characters, you will get to experience what life will be like and

essentially learn from their mistakes and experiences.

Grace is a proud momma-bear to four kids and wife to a wonderful husband.

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Southern Indiana, 2306 hours

Countdown: 25 seconds until Event.

James Parker rubbed the sandy grit out of his eyes and stared at the monitors in front of him. Three screens—low light, supposedly easy on the eyes—sat at his station along with a computer, telephone, and emergency communications radio. But he was suffering from a hangover headache pounding dully behind his temples, and it hurt to use his eyes, even in such dim lighting.

His hand, big and calloused, massaged a five o’clock shadow rapidly heading towards full-on homeless scruff. He wanted another Vicodin, but had promised himself not to take too many at work. Mostly, he kept that promise. Mostly.

The light in the room was muted, more a soft ambience with the illumination designed to be easy on an operator’s eyes, and the soft glow of computers reflected like silvered mirrors from each station. From all around him, the white noise of the call center was a light murmur of background conversations punctuated by the alerts of incoming calls. Parker leaned back in his comfortable chair and eyed the clock.

Fifteen minutes to quitting time.

He lifted a hand to Kevin Oaks in a lazy gesture of greeting as the man, his relief, came in through the door of the “vault” and meandered towards the coffee maker on the table in the corner.

Right behind him, though, Parker’s supervisor Annie Klein burst through the door, resembling a squat lead ball fired from a musket. An old, not well taken care of musket. Her arms, pudgy bowling pins topped by raptor claws of fingers, clutched her iPhone and a thick pile of official manila folders.

Avoiding eye contact, Parker sat up and spun around to more fully face his row of monitors. His conversations with the indefatigable Ms. Klein inevitably ended in a poor fashion. He’d already earned two written warnings for insubordination, and HR had informed the union that he was currently under investigation. Yay.

He couldn’t afford to lose another job. His pension and retirement benefits were closely tied to his employment with the city. After how he’d left the department, getting fired from this job would vastly reduce his options. Besides, when the factories had closed down and moved to Mexico, they’d taken the greater part of employment options with them. Try as he might, he couldn’t see himself working as a barista, jumping to fetch absurd coffees for uppity IT techs half his age.

He sighed. “Because I’m old,” he muttered.

An indicator light blinked on. He moved his foot and nudged the pedal, opening the line.

“911,” he said into his headset mic. “What is the nature of your emergency?”

“Please help!” a young woman’s voice cried into the line. “Please help, something horrible is going to happen!”

“Calm down, miss,” he said. “Let me help you.” He’d taken enough calls by now to know whether it was the real thing or not. This felt real.

Automatically, his voice went down a register, sliding from gravely baritone to an almost basso profundo. It was a habit left over from working domestic disputes and suicide interventions as a law enforcement officer. It helped in his new career.

He went on, “I need your name, ma’am.”

His eyes went to his screen and he quietly cursed. She was on a cell; the caller locator software had the 812 area code, but that was it so far. He could have figured that much out on his own by her southern Indiana accent alone. Go Hoosiers, he thought.

“They’re going to do something at Stapleton Mall, the Church!” the girl half-sobbed.

He winced internally at the location, the reminder of his daughter, but pushed the feeling away quickly. He possessed an instinct, a residue left over from working patrol. This girl was fighting to hold it together; he could hear it in the timbre of her voice. She wanted to be brave, she was fighting to be brave, but she was utterly terrified.

“They’ve already killed a girl… I guess you’d call them a cult,” she went on. “But the Church kidnapped me, and Casey, Jesus, they killed Casey!” The words burned through the signal into his ear and he heard the raw anguish and terror in her voice.

Parker’s stomach clenched. This was no hoax.

He eyed the caller ID screen—nothing. Goddamn satellites. He frowned. He inhaled through his nose, calming himself. Since Sara had disappeared, such actions were only effective at work. Outside of the call center, it took Ativan, 4mgs at a time, to calm him. Usually with a Steel City Lager chaser. Sometimes something stronger.

“Tell me your name,” he repeated. His voice remained steady, calm. He might be all this girl had until he could dispatch officers to her 20. He didn’t want to fail her. Didn’t want to fail another girl the way he’d failed Sara.

“It’s Ava,” she choked out. “It’s Ava Tablot—”

The line went dead.

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The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah


Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.

Cora Allbright and her husband Ernt, a recently-returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their thirteen-year-old daughter Leni to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.

At once an epic story of human survival and love, and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable and enduring strength of women. About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, this is a novel as spectacular and powerful as Alaska itself. It is the finest example of Kristin Hannah’s ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal.


Ernt is a Vietnam war veteran. He has become unstable, volatile and abusive since his time as a POW. When he inherits a homestead in Alaska, he decides to move his family for a fresh start on life.

Alaska has always been on my bucket list. The vastness is appealing to me. So, I jumped on this book as soon as I heard it was available. Kristin Hannah nailed Alaska for me. I could just picture the greatness and the dangers which encompass this last frontier.

Not only did Kristin Hannah have a great setting she also created some of the best characters. Ernt with his insanity, Cora with her strength and Leni, their daughter, with her determination form a family like no other. And then there is Large Marge…yes that is her name…Matthew and his family, just to name a few. I enjoyed this community of outcasts. They have a tough exterior but their hearts know no limits.

Parts of this novel I savored and parts I rushed through because it was terrifying. It was tough to get through some spots. I had to stop and breathe in places, especially where Leni was concerned. This is an incredible book! This story encompasses so much. And I cannot tell you what I liked more…the story, the land, the people…all of it creates a tale of survival, love and hope.

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review

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