“Fighting Compulsive Gambling One NY Times Article and One Life at a Time.”

30retiring1-master768Photo Courtesy Deanna Alejandra Dent for The New York Times.

 “Author and Advocate, Marilyn Lancelot, 86, said that after being a compulsive gambler for seven years, she was arrested at age 61 for embezzling $350,000 from her job and served nearly a year in prison.”

And an amazing woman she is. And I have been blessed and honored to know her for over 5-years now and she is my sponsor while I am living temporarily here in Arizona. She has helped so many women and men too into recovery from the deadliest and hush, hush addictions around. Yes, I am talking about Gambling Addiction. Currently, IS the #1 addiction claiming lives by the hands of Suicides…

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New York Times – “Fighting Compulsive Gambling Among Women”
by:   APRIL 28, 2017.

 

Blinking lights, the clicking sound of coins, and perks like free or inexpensive food, drinks, and casino bus trips are enticing many older women to gamble.

For some people, that seductive environment can be extremely dangerous.

“Casinos are trained to make you feel welcome, while you lose your life,” said Sandra Adell, 70, a literature professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who recounted her experiences as a compulsive gambler in the book “Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen.” In an interview, Professor Adell said that advertisements aimed at older adults often show smiling people, dressed up and looking glamorous, “to create an illusion that plays to people’s weaknesses.”

“What the industry is doing,” she continued, “the way it markets and keeps casinos filled with elderly people, is morally reprehensible.”

Hard numbers are difficult to find, but Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said that gambling addiction among older women near or in retirement appears to be increasing in scope and severity, with a devastating impact on personal finances.

Marilyn Lancelot, 86, of Sun City, Ariz., for example, said that after being a compulsive gambler for seven years, she was arrested at age 61 for embezzling $350,000 from her job and served nearly a year in prison. “I really thought I’d win the big one deep down in my heart,” she said in an interview. “Every gambler says that.” Ms. Lancelot has described her experiences in the book “Gripped by Gambling.”

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Many experts say that men are often “action” gamblers, who favor blackjack and poker, while women tend to be “escape” gamblers, drawn to games based on luck, like slot machines and lottery tickets. Women often begin gambling later in life than men, sometimes after a major life event, like the death of a spouse or when they become empty nesters.

Women are less likely to develop gambling problems than men, Mr. Whyte said, but “telescoping, the rapid development of problems, is especially pronounced in senior women.” It may seem surprising to some people that women have severe gambling problems, he said. “Grandma is not seen as someone who embezzles money and is taken off to jail,” he said, yet it happens.

Many women lose significant amounts of money and jeopardize their futures. “Once they tap into retirement savings, it’s incredibly hard — if they are ever able — to rebuild those savings,” Mr. Whyte said.

Stephanie Iacopino, 63, of Toms River, N.J., who works part time in retail sales, said that during years of compulsive gambling, she stole money from family members, friends, and clients in a travel business, and ultimately went to prison in 2010 for embezzling about $18,000 from her church.  She said she served nearly four months at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women near Clinton, N.J., followed by 22 months in New Jersey’s Intensive Supervision Program, which, the state says, is “more onerous” than traditional probation. “We don’t have a nest egg,” said Ms. Iacopino, who is married. “We live paycheck to paycheck.” But she said that while she is struggling financially, she is happy to be recovering from her addiction.

Some women have medical issues associated with gambling, Mr. Whyte said, like bladder problems aggravated by not getting up from slot machines to go to the bathroom. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting that among older people, some medications may lead to compulsive behavior, including gambling addiction. Decreased cognitive functioning can also interfere with the ability to make sound decisions, he added.

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There is a strong connection between gambling and substance abuse. “If you are a problem gambler, you are four times more likely to have a problem with alcohol at some point in your life,” he said. “At a minimum, the rate of problem gambling among people with substance-use disorders is four to five times that found in the general population.” (The council operates a national 24/7 help line for problem gamblers and their families.)

Patricia A. Healy, clinical director of Healy Counseling Associates, in Toms River, N.J., which specializes in addiction counseling, said problem gambling among the elderly “is a hot issue and under-noticed in this country.”

“Gambling is the stepchild of the addiction world,” she said. “You can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t observe it,” unless you see someone in action.

For certain people, she said, there is an adrenaline rush and “suddenly they’re in the chase. Sadly for some, it’s a death spiral.” Bus trips to casinos are sometimes arranged to coincide with the arrival of pension and Social Security checks, she said, and cases of retirees who cash in their I.R.A.s and pensions, or mortgage or ultimately lose their houses are not uncommon. “There is a tremendous amount of shame.”

Neva Pryor, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said some older people gamble with money intended for medication and find themselves in desperate straits. Some who become suicidal may “drive out in traffic and get killed so families can collect insurance,” she said.

Sam Skolnik, author of “High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction,” said the aftereffects of pathological gambling include social costs that range from loss of productivity at work, domestic crime, suicide and harm to families from rising indebtedness, home foreclosure, and bankruptcy. “When the elderly gamble, they are often harmed in a more permanent way, sadly,” he said.

“There’s no question the industry knows that they lose more money than they should.”

 

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Sara Slane, senior vice president for public affairs at the American Gaming Association, which represents casinos, said in an email statement, “While problem gambling has not increased along with the increase in casinos, the industry and the A.G.A. continue to increase their investment and commitment to responsible gaming programs.” She cited research in The Journal of Gambling Studies that compared telephone surveys conducted in 1999 and 2000 with those from 2011 to 2013 and found that rates of problem gambling remained stable overall and actually declined among women.

Rachel Volberg, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, who studies gambling, said the state of knowledge about the issue in the United States is still inadequate. “There’s not much support for gambling research in the U.S.,” she said.

It wasn’t until 1980 that pathological gambling was designated as a mental health issue in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, she said: “It’s a relatively young disorder as far as having recognition.”

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Ms. Lancelot, of Arizona, who is now retired, said she left prison with nothing but eventually recovered financially. As a felon, getting a job and an apartment was difficult, but she borrowed three months’ rent from her brother, offered to pay the landlord in advance and found work as a secretary with the Arizona state government. Within 10 years, she said, she had two homes, a new car and checking accounts. “I want older people to know that it’s not the end of the world,” she said.

Ms. Pryor, of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said older adults can protect themselves from potential gambling problems in retirement by seeking help in managing their finances — and in planning how to spend their time — long before they stop working. “What people need to realize,” she said, “is, they may win a little, but ultimately, the house always wins.”

 

What Every Parent Should Know about Pain Meds ~ Our Guest Article.

What Every Parent Should Know about Pain Meds ~ Our Guest Article.

We as parents already know about the raging drug epidemic happening in our communities, so let’s make sure we start “at home” to make all medications in the safe and put away from your kids, teens, and young adults. Yes, parents, it needs to start with you…

Guest Article By Christine H.

Deaths caused by prescription pain medication overdose are skyrocketing. Between 2000 and 2015, most areas in North America saw opioid deaths quadruple. It’s at a point where it’s being called a public health crisis. But however bad a situation regarding addiction is… it’s always hard to imagine that it has anything to do with us or our family.

The truth is that opioid addiction is something that affects people at every age, from every walk of life. It’s easy to hide, so for the most part, people who find out that their children are struggling with opioid addiction are completely floored and surprised. Because these pain medications are often originally prescribed by a doctor, it’s hard to know where the line is between use and abuse.

So, in the name of prevention and education, here are some important facts that every parent should know about the opioid epidemic.

1: Opioids are some of the most addictive substances we know of

Opiates and opioids are substances derived from the poppy plant, like opium of historical significance, or morphine that we use in hospitals today. Opioids are used to treat pain, and they’re often prescribed for sports injuries, recovery from surgery, and chronic pain conditions.

Some of the most commonly prescribed opiates are OxyContin®, Percocet®, Codeine, Demerol®, and Methadone®. One of the things that make opiates so addictive is that the body quickly builds a tolerance to them, which means that you’ll need more and more of the substance in order to get the same effects. Following closely on the heels of tolerance is dependence, where someone’s body actually needs the substance in order to simply feel normal. At this point, it’s really hard to distinguish when someone needs pain management, and when they’re addicted. For this reason, opiates need to be closely monitored by a doctor to ensure that the medication is doing what it needs to do without being abused.

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2: The most common street opioid is heroin?

In our minds, there’s a big leap between using more pills than the doctor prescribed, and going out to purchase a street drug like heroin. However, once addiction takes control and someone’s supply of prescription pain medications is cut off, it’s not uncommon for people to turn to a different, accessible form of the substance. Often, this can get really scary because the dosage of street heroin isn’t as carefully monitored (of course) and it can be very easy for someone to mismanage it.


However, it’s important to remember that as scary as this transition is,
prescription opioids can be just as dangerous. In fact, in Utah, twice as many people die from prescription opioids as from heroin.

3: Addiction isn’t the end

If you think that someone you love is at risk of opioid addiction, it can be hard to deal with. It’s difficult to know how to confront and handle the problem effectively. This is real and scary. However, addiction is not the end. If you worry that someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, learn to recognize the signs, and work to remove the stigma. Let them know that you care and they’re not alone, and encourage them to seek professional treatment.

In addition to professional treatment for addiction, an important resource is Naloxone. If someone is taking opioids, they could be at risk of an overdose. Naloxone is a safe medication that counters the effects of an overdose long enough for professional help to arrive. Educate yourself about it, and if you live in an area where laymen can safely purchase and carry it, then have a kit on hand.

 

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What Can You Do?

  • Talk honestly with your children about substance abuse, including alcohol, drugs, and prescription medication. And start the conversation early! As this article states, some state drug education programs are starting as early as Kindergarten because forewarned students are forearmed. Educate yourself about addiction, and open up the conversation to understand your child’s concerns and questions. Avoid using scare tactics and exaggerations. Numerous studies have found that the most effective drug education is in honest conversation, not in facts and figures, or even dramatically terrifying stories.

  • There are alternative pain treatment methods. Neither you nor your children have to take opioids. If your doctor prescribes them for someone in your family, talk to them about it and ask for alternative treatment. According to the CDC, safer options are available, and often, they can be more effective in managing pain. Be savvy about any medications that your family is taking. Read the labels and understand the side effects and risks.

  • Keep all of your medications in a safe place, in child-proof containers. Monitor them closely, and don’t share medications with family members that they’re not prescribed for. For example, never use grandma’s old Lortab® in order to treat one of your kid’s toothaches, however severe.

  • Speaking of old Lortab®, always safely dispose of medication when you don’t need it anymore or it expires. Pain medication isn’t like antibiotics; you don’t need to take the whole prescribed amount. Take leftover medication to any pharmacy, and they can take care of it for you.

  • Remember that even when you take opioids as prescribed, there are still dangers. Be alert to the possible problems, and don’t dismiss concerns as they crop up.

Article was written by Author, Christine H. 

How the Smart Mom Does It All.

When mom lives life in recovery, how does she get it all done and keep her recovery in check?
Here are some things recovery mom’s can do to have a well-balanced family life and recovery.
A new guest article by: Darci Maxwell.

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How the Smart Mom Does It All1

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Every mom has a hard time trying to “do it all.” It’s no surprise, there is so much to do – taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, cleaning the house again because your kids got into something, cooking dinner, doing the laundry, running errands, staying in touch with your friends and family, working out, going to work, being an effective employee, etc. etc. etc. The unfortunate truth is that there is not enough time to do everything. However, there are ways to make your life more effective. Read on for twelve tips and tricks to help you accomplish more in less time.

Realize That You Can’t Do Everything


Each of us is limited to 24 hours a day. There are so many things that we want to do, but it is impossible to do everything. You need to learn to let go of the myth of perfection, and only do what you realistically can. Decide what is good enough, and let go of the rest.

Take Care of Yourself

The safety video on an airplane tells you to first secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. If you are burnt out, you will not be able to help your friends or family. Make sure that you get enough sleep, eat right, exercise daily, etc.
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Woman with Moisturizing Cream

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Be Prepared

Save yourself time by being prepared. Keep an overnight bag for each child in the car, stock your fridge and pantry with meals that you can make in a jiffy, have medicines on hand (and keep them labeled), and keep a notebook and pen in your car. It may take a little bit of planning now to make sure that you have things ready for the future, but it will save you time in the long run.

Prioritize

Decide what is most important and tackle those tasks first. There are probably a few things on your list that can be postponed for when you have time, and a few that need to happen right away. Take things one day at a time, and try not to get overwhelmed with your to-do’s.

Make a List

Every day make a list to keep track of the things that you need to get done. Make sure that you put the most important things at the top, and the least important things towards the bottom. Keep a running list throughout the week as well, so that you know what still needs to get done. Mark things off as you accomplish them so that you keep yourself on track. Find a way to organize your list that works for you. Do you like having it on a piece of paper, on your phone, or in your planner?

Set Reminders For Yourself

This blog suggests that you should use your phone or computer to help you complete your to do list. Set timers and reminders for yourself to keep yourself on task. Make sure that you put all of your appointments in your calendar so that you don’t accidentally forget a doctor’s appointment or tee-ball game. If you are not near a phone or computer, keep a kitchen timer at your side so that you can keep track of time.

Organize

You waste a lot of time trying to find things, like your keys, shopping list, reading glasses, coupons, bills, etc. Organize your life and stop wasting time looking for things. ” When you use something, put it away, so that you can find it the next time you need it. Make sure that you label everything, so that you remember where it goes. Create a folder system for your bills so that you can get them all paid. Better yet, set up automatic payments to streamline your process. Adopt the mentality “Everything has a place, and everything belongs in its place.

Simplify

You don’t need to do everything. Find things in your routine that you can cut out so that you can do more in less time. For example, save time by cutting mouthwash out of your dental routine (you may not actually
need it after all). Do quick 15 minute cleanings, and keep cleaning supplies in your bathrooms and kitchen so that you don’t have to take extra time to prepare for gather your cleaning supplies. Find other ways to simplify your routine every day so that you can be more efficient.

Throw It Out

Get rid of old clothes, mail, receipts, etc. If you have not used it in the past year, chances are you’re not going to use it in the next year, so get rid of it! Give it to a neighbor, donate it to a local charity, or just throw it away. Sit down with your children, and help them decide what toys they can give away. Go through your own closet as well and decide what you don’t need anymore.

Don’t Buy It

When you are at the store, avoid buying new unnecessary things to add to the junk in your life. Ask yourself “Do I really need this?” before you buy anything new. Check out rental options around town instead of buying something that you will only use once. For example, rent a carpet cleaner rather buying a new one that you will then have to store somewhere in your house.

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Different activities of a mother and a child

Illustration of the different activities of a mother and a child on a white background

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Spend Time With The Family

It is more important to give time to your family than it is to have a spotless house or do everything on your list. Your children will not remember how many errands you run, rather, how much time you spend with them. Take the time to play trains with your 4 year-old son and to dress up with your 3 year-old daughter. Time spent with your children is precious, so make the most of it when you can.

Make a Plan That Works For You

You can find hundreds of self-help books and articles on the internet, each with their own advice. Don’t try to do every helpful hint, as you will exhaust yourself. Find things that work for you, and ask for help when you need it.
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4 Times to Be Brutally Honest with Yourself By: Aleksandre McMenamin.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

 

Today I have a wonderful new guest author who has an important article we all can learn from. I enjoy having many guest author’s here on my blog to share what topics are important to them in living a well-balanced recovery life. So todays guest author is Aleksandre McMenamin.
I hope we all learn something new we can use in our own recovery journey …

 

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We, as human beings, have a strong tendency to see what is wrong in other people’s lives. However, when it comes to our own, such intuition often fails us. A vast amount of people on this planet live day-to-day being dishonest with themselves, and are failing to correct problems their lives as a result of it. This is why it is often important that we take a stance of brutal honesty when looking at the issues in our lives. Besides, if you can’t be honest with ourselves, then we’re really just living a lie…

Struggling with addiction

It can be incredibly difficult to approach your addiction with a degree of self-honesty. This is because addiction is a mental disease that makes self-introspection quite challenging. However, that only makes such brutal honesty even more important. You won’t be able to get the best from treatment unless you are honest with yourself and others. And if you can’t admit to yourself, honestly, that you are suffering from addiction and need help, how can you ever expect to fight it and get better? Being honest in these difficult times will help you keep your loved ones close, instead of pushing them away. For more information about honesty and addiction, check out this incredibly useful blog post here.

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Failing relationships

Whether you are in a long-time marriage with someone, or you have just been dating for a good while, honesty with yourself and your partner is the most important bedrock of any wonderful relationship. This includes being brutally honest in times when the relationship is less than satisfactory. Is it not working? Is it not going anywhere? These are questions that you need to have answered for the sake of both you and your partner. Failing to be honest and deal with these issues head on is likely only going to make the situation get worse as more time passes, and that isn’t good for anybody! This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to cut off a relationship with somebody you love to be honest with yourself, but usually something definitely has to change for it to keep working.

Your job isn’t working

The time that we spend at work makes up a considerable amount of time in our lives. Many people spend well over half of their waking hours at a job. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to be honest with yourself about how you feel about the place where you work. Life is too short to be stuck in a dead-end job that you will hate for hours on end. Continuing to live like this will only bring you great unhappiness in all aspects of your life (not just work). This is neither good for you, nor that place where you work. So why continue to work at a place if you are terribly unhappy there? How can you expect anything to get better if you don’t admit to yourself that this isn’t the place for you? If your finances can allow it, you need to be honest with yourself and make a change.

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Poor personal health

The body and health that many people have usually doesn’t exactly align with the body and health that they want. This doesn’t mean that most people aren’t healthy or decent lifestyles, but they may be setting expectations for themselves that they aren’t truly working at meeting. This can lead to a path of self loathing for no good reason, at all. Do you keep telling yourself that you are eating healthy and have a great workout schedule, only to consistently cheat at both of them?

This is a slippery slope to making more and more unhealthy decisions that will make you feel worse about yourself. It’s important to be honest about your expectations with yourself and whether you are really working towards them. Why keep expecting yourself to do these things if you don’t really want to commit? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to eat the extra cake, but at least be honest with yourself so you don’t feel as though you are lying about it. This will lead a much happier lifestyle, overall …

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author and Recovery Advocate
“Addicted To Dimes”

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“My Passion is Writing” ~ Meet Author Larry LaVoie

Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, and New Peekers,

Since “OLD MAN WINTER” has his grip on most of the US right now, I thought I’d share with you a Good Friend of mine, and he is a fantastic Novel writer. He has been such a supporter of my book, “Addicted To Dimes,” and supports me in my Recovery as well. He *Inspires* me as a writer & in “Friendship”………..

*A RESHARE FROM MY WRITER/BOOK BLOG ON SIMPLESITE*
http://www.simplesite.com/CatherineLyonAddictedToDimes

Larry & I met I do believe on Twitter. I meet ALL MY Men there it seems!…Lol…We also see each other on many of the same Social Media sites. So, Please meet Larry LaVoie, and a Wee Bit more About Him:

Larry LaVoie

Image of Larry LaVoieImage of Larry LaVoie

Larry LaVoie was born in a small town in Oregon. He lettered in football and track in high school. In the summers, as a teenager, he worked in the fields around Dayton, Oregon. Larry graduated from McMinnville High school. He served in the Oregon National Guard. He completed basic training in Fort Ord, California.
He spent much of his career as an engineer in the aerospace industry. He has traveled extensively to several European countries. He has lived in several small towns in Oregon and along the Oregon Coast, which is reflected in some of his novels. He now lives in the high desert country of Eastern Oregon. He likes golf and bowling and has participated in several bowling tournaments over the past several years. His writing mainly has a flavor of his small town roots, although a few of his novels take place in larger cities such as Los Angeles, or Portland, or foreign countries.
His writings reflect his love of technology, sports and politics. His writings include mystery, thrillers, political, sports, and action adventure set in interesting places. While many of his novels are written for a mainstream adult audience he has also written for young adult and Christian readers.
“I write mainly to entertain,” Larry says. “When you read one of my books I want you to enjoy a thrilling experience through the eyes of the characters.” Larry has written thirteen novels in several genre.”

Yes, he is a fellow Oregon resident, AND yes I’ll be getting back to So. Oregon my- self soon! I will confess, I have had only time to read one of his Novels, “CALDERA,”which is a fantastic thriller set in Yellowstone Park. It’s a great read! Here is a bit about this novel:

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Publication Date:  November 29, 2013

Six-hundred-thousand years ago the largest volcano in the Western Hemisphere erupted covering much of what is now the Central United States in a thick layer of ash. The cataclysm left behind a massive caldera that today is known as Yellowstone National Park.After volcanologist Milton Bainbridge is found dead under mysterious circumstances, USGS volcanologist Jason Trask is called in from overseas to replace his former boss and work at Yellowstone Park with Bainbridge’s assistant Carlene Carlson. Trask and Carlson discover records in Bainbridge’s computer that indicate Yellowstone is about to erupt again, only this time the survival of millions of Americans in thirteen states is threatened if they cannot be evacuated from the deadly path of the fallout.To make matters worse, a terrorist organization is planning on using the disarray in the aftermath of a Yellowstone eruption to topple the government of the United States. Trask and Carlson face off against a government that doesn’t believe an eruption is eminent and a terrorist organization preparing to use that denial to their advantage.

Caldera is filled with technical accuracy in the lives of volcanologists assigned to Yellowstone National Park and the challenges they face when presented with the reality of a national disaster of unimaginable proportions…

*HERE are a few 5 STAR Reviews to know I was not the only one who Enjoyed this Novel.*

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This review is from: CALDERA: A Yellowstone Park Thriller (Kindle Edition)

WOW! Move over Tom Clancy! Not only was this the very best book by this author, it is one of the best indie books I’ve read so far. It cost more than most indies, but it’s worth the money. It really did scare me because, with my geology background, I know it could really happen.

I have always loved this author’s work but, comparing this one to some of his earlier works, he has come so far. The book is very well written, the characters are strong and well-developed, the plot is amazing with several subplots. I didn’t have a clue where this novel was going and I love that. It kept me guessing until the end. I was sad to see it end. The book moves at a good pace so that I never lost interest or felt like I had to skip any of it. Good job, Larry!

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: CALDERA: A Yellowstone Park Thriller (Kindle Edition)

Having experienced, Mt. St. Helen’s in 1980 and several visits to Yellowstone National Park, I couldn’t wait to read this book. I was not disappointed. Fast paced, exciting, couldn’t put the book down. Can’t wait to read more of Larry LaVoie’s stories!

*WELL, Reviews don’t lie! It is an awesome read. Now here are some others that Larry has written for your reading pleasure, and can be found on Amazon.com, Barnes& Noble, Some on Smashwords.com, or go visit his wonderful Book Blog here at: http://www.larrylavioeauthor.com *

My novels are available as eBooks on Amazon.com and Barns & Noble. All e-reader formats are supported. Click above or below on Books By Larry for added details

              

      

         

         

You Can also find Larry On Social Media Sites abound!

http://www.amazon.com/e/B004KECU14

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4501796.Larry_LaVoie

And Here: http://larrylavioeauthor.blogspot.com

SO, I want to “Thank” Larry for letting me SHARE him a little, and hope all my friends will visit his Blog and check out Larry’s Novels, they are well worth a read. AND, as always, tell him his Pal, Author, Catherine Lyon sent you!

GOD BLESS ALL, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Addicted To Dimes, (Confessions of a liar and a Cheat)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485
My Book Blog: http://www.simplesite.com/CatherineLyonaddictedtodimes