Ginger Marin, Bionic Lady, Journalist, Actor, Author

With a Little Something to Say



Review of “251 Things to Do In Tofino”

Review by Ginger Marin as posted to Goodreads in July 2016

251 things to do in tofinoOkay, I’m pretty certain I’m ready to pack my bags and head off to a fabulous long-term stay in Tofino, British Columbia, Canada after reading Kait Fennell’s “251 Things to Do in Tofino”.

Her book is a wonderful resource guide of the community and environs, including that of its indigenous peoples. It’s part history, geography and delightful visitors’ guide listing everything from what you can expect at different times of the year, best beaches and hiking trails, restaurants and eateries, places to stay, what to do and where to shop amidst what sounds like a surfer’s and environmentalist’s dream vacation experience.

Ready, set, go! And make sure to take this guide with you.

As Kait explains, Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia at the southern edge of Clayoquot Sound which has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. That should tell you a lot right there. Respect for the environment is high on the list of things you need to know when visiting. As for anything else, well, you just need to read the book if nature, peace and quiet, beautiful vistas, water sports and hiking in an environment that is largely rainforest appeals to you. It all sounds like a treasure of a find if you ask me.

Who knows, you might become lost forever, not so much wandering the woods, but lost to its beauty – that’s how well Ms. Fennel has managed to sway me to Tofino’s charms. I’ve already started using her links to discover some of the fabulous shops that abound in Tofino.

Easy reading and charming graphics also highlight the book.

Review of “Prescription for Life: Three Simple Strategies to Live Younger Longer”

Prescription for Life by Richard FurmanBook Review by Ginger Marin as posted to Goodreads in 2015.


I’ve read many nutrition and diet books and articles over the years and I have to say I was not very impressed with Dr. Richard Furman’s “Prescription for Life” mainly because I was expecting something new. This book, however, reads like a nutrition treatise for the complete novice as it largely advocates a Mediterranean-style diet along with exercise after forcing us to wade through numerous case studies of his patients’ and friends’ health issues, all a result of clogged arteries and high cholesterol.

A vascular surgeon, Dr. Furman’s mantra is to avoid foods with cholesterol at all costs. Maybe that’s the right prescription for some people but maybe not everyone. Some foods like an egg contain valuable nutrients in the yolk which also balance out other nutrients in the white. The good doctor ignores that part of the equation as well as telling us to stop taking vitamins and herbs, even though other doctors have informed us repeatedly that the nutritional value of our produce has declined markedly in the last 50-years. And his advice on the best breakfast of oatmeal with a ton of fruit piled on top would make other doctors’ heads spin – diabetes anyone? That’s a blood sugar spike for sure.

The book is too long and redundant. Dr. Furman also spends 3 chapters on erectile dysfunction and the last part of the book, the actual 21-Day Outline, is roughly 45 pages telling you to go back and read other pages of his book. A disappointing experience.


The Amazing Hacksaw Ridge and Andrew Garfield

hacksaw-ridgeHere it is February 2017 and it’s time for the Academy Awards to be broadcast this Sunday.  The awards’ season opened with people jumping up and down over La La Land for who knows what reason. The movie sucks. I guess people forgot what really good musicals are like. It wasn’t that long ago when “Chicago” hit the screen. Now that was a great musical.

In any case, I could not let this season go by without commenting on the Mel Gibson directed film “Hacksaw Ridge” starring Andrew Garfield. It’s spectacular from start to finish. It tells the story of WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, a true conscientious objector who refused to kill people and became the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. He saved the lives of 75 soldiers single handedly in a feat of determination, strength and undying faith.  This is what a real hero looks like.

Andrew Garfield’s performance demands more than just an Oscar nomination. He deserves the win. He physically and emotionally embodies Doss and when he talks of faith and why he cannot pick up a gun, you believe every word and truly understand the motivation.

Garfield is surrounded by excellent acting from his fellow cast members including Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington. Exceptional are Hugo Weaving and Rachel Griffiths as Doss’ parents. There is one scene that takes place in the Doss kitchen between Desmond and his parents that is stunning and heartbreaking as the father’s pain is horribly exposed.  It is what turns Desmond into the direction of conscientious objector and becomes the very thing that causes his father to step up and commit to his son’s decision to fight the enemy in his own way, as a medic, working to save the lives of his fellow soldiers.

The film is absolutely gruesome in displaying the horrors of war; body parts blown off, intestines exposed; heads blasted; rats feasting on the remains. Yes, it’s sickening but it’s real. This movie deserves much credit this Oscar season. Garfield’s performance deserves the award for best actor.  Hacksaw Ridge is nominated for best film and Mel Gibson for best director but they’ve got some stiff competition, unfortunately also from the aforementioned La La Land.

Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.

New Book Release From Ginger Marin

“Adventures in Avalon: An Offbeat & Quirky Adult Bedtime Story” by Ginger Marin was published in paperback on June 24, 2016. The book is also available in Kindle Format and it can be read for free via KindleUnlimited. Click the link to go straight to the Amazon sales page.


Description:  Intrepid reporter Ginger Marin discovers a lost civilization of cartoon people living in Middle America, in a town called Avalon in the County of Ligature-Upon-Avon … one of those quaint little communities that is somewhat lost in American space, neither here nor there but definitely somewhere.

Her dispatches from the front lines will thrill and excite you as she describes all the crazy things cartoon people do when they think no one’s watching. You’ll read the fascinating, slightly raunchy, true tales of the Avalon Defense Department (a.k.a. police department) where rock star police detective General Schnitzkof, a former British officer, and his trusted assistant, rookie cop WingWing, a rotund little dumpling of a “lad”, solve some of the town’s most absurd crimes such as these: “The Case of the Missing Member or How John Sir Gwaine Bobolini Lost One of His Family Jewels and How He Recovered It … Well Sort Of”, “The Case of the Missing Haunted Mobile Home” and last, but certainly not least, “The Cream Puff Caper”, where you’ll meet some of Avalon’s worst offenders like that pervert Mr. Parabolikos and murderous old lady Wiggins.

Ginger Marin is an actor-writer living in Los Angeles. For information about her acting credits, please visit Ginger’s IMDB Page.  Also follow Ginger Marin on Goodreads.

Goodreads Giveaway for “Adventures in Avalon: An Offbeat & Quirky Adult Bedtime Story”

Giveaway runs from July 9th – August 18th

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Adventures In Avalon by Ginger Marin

Adventures In Avalon

by Ginger Marin

Giveaway ends August 18, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one of 5-paperback copies being given away of the deliciously charming and humorous “Adventures in Avalon: An Offbeat & Quirky Adult Bedtime Story” by Ginger Marin.

James Bond Songs: Book Review

The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late CapitalismThe James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism by Adrian Daub
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As I was reading “The James Bond Songs”, I kept wondering for whom did the authors write this. For die-hard James Bond film fans? No, it’s too stiff and technical for them. For musicians? Perhaps. For film music composers? Definitely. But even then this book is so specific to James Bond songs that they’ve narrowed the niche of readers to those who want to compose James Bond songs themselves.

I found the book tedious, redundant and not the least bit joyful to read as I was hoping. Since it was written by two music professors, I think it essentially belongs in the classroom. For the general public, not so much.

I received my copy in a Goodreads Giveaway and would have loved to have given it a higher rating. Sorry.

View all my reviews
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Ginger on IMDB

Free Kindle Book: The 231 Club

FREE CIA MEMOIR E-BOOK TODAY.The 231 Club: My Ten Year Journey From Therapist to CIA Courier and Sanctioned Kills – A True Story” by J Bartell with Ginger Marin.  This book about CIA black ops covert operations discusses aspects of J Bartell’s life, first as a therapist, then as a courier for the CIA and beyond to covert ops.  It has been well received on Amazon.  We look forward to offering a free book today.  If you have KindleUnlimited, it’s free everyday!

The 231 Club Book Cover


What people have said about “The 231 Club“: Here are some EXCERPTS of reviews:

“The 231 Club is an interesting and well told story about how one man became a subcontractor for the CIA during the late 1970s when the organization based many of its operations in Central and South America. As J Bartell tells it, this is not a story that discusses statistics and details but rather one that explores emotions and circumstances. It really reads like an exciting adventure tale.”

“The “231 Club” is an almost unbelievable story…how could this stuff be true? But, it is a great example of how truth really can be stranger than fiction. The author describes activities and scenes from his past as a CIA black operations contractor; and these stories will make your head shake and your stomach curl. His style is direct, first person and clear as a bell; he was instructed to “take out” these people by the US government in the crazy cold war days, and his team did just that in various countries and in various ways.”

“Forcefully written and easy to read, The 231 Club still left me with conflicting emotions of sadness that J went through this ordeal for so many years but, at the same time, relieved that I now know what happened to him.”

“It is rare for me to start a book and read the whole story in one sitting, but I could not put this one down. I was so amazed that a licensed psychotherapist and hypnotherapist, who was so successful at helping people, became a sanctioned assassin, that I purchased a book for myself and a 2nd one for loan. This memoir is a fascinating and probably a very honest account of the author’s experiences and how they altered his entire life. I rate this book a 5+++++. It is not only a very action filled story, but it made me look at the fact that the choices that we make in our lives affect our very souls.”


Visit Ginger’s Website

Ginger Marin Co-Author of The 231 Club

The 231 Club Book Cover

For The 231 Club, a New CIA Memoir, It’s About the Thought Process Behind the Path To the Unknown

The Journey From Therapist to CIA Courier and Sanctioned Kills

LOS ANGELES:  After a successful therapist is recruited to become a courier for the CIA, his ordered world descends down a dark path leading to sanctioned kills and questioned loyalties, forever altering his concept of self and country.  This is the true story of J Bartell in a newly published book by Bijou Entertainment.

The 231 Club encompasses intriguing personalities, an examination of the psyche behind the storyteller, exciting and unique espionage adventures at a time when wits were at play more than gadgets. It dissects how one man with a great career and fulfilling life takes a radical detour which turns his whole world upside down.

J Bartell was an instructor, lecturer and chief of staff of a large California-based therapy institute whose clients included people from all walks of life. But it was his worldwide travels on behalf of affluent clients, including heads-of-state, that put him on the radar of the CIA.

What started out as simple courier work eventually lead to J Bartell becoming part of a small group that handled off-book assignments, meaning no record, so there’s plausible deniability.

The group, an extension of the CIA’s black ops division referred to as Executive Action which was created in the 1950s, consisted of Bartell, his CIA handler Chauncey Holt and former U.S. Marine, Michael Harries, best known for having created the famous Harries Flashlight Technique used by law enforcement around the world for handling arms in low-light conditions.

What’s interesting about J Bartell’s decision to move forward was how he explored his options and even thought about the importance of the work and how it could possibly affect people’s lives if he didn’t act to help rid the world of “bad guys”.

As a result of his increased involvement, Bartell experienced everything from weapons deals and covert training missions to helping ruthless killers, hiding behind positions of power, get their due.

On the subject of his black ops assignments, J was previously interviewed by award winning investigative reporter Judd McIlvain, a winner of eight golden mike awards and two Emmy Awards and award winning investigative journalist/crime reporter Peter R. de Vries of the Netherlands.

The significance of the book’s title is that once J Bartell becomes truly engaged in black ops, his handler Chauncey Holt welcomed him into The 231 Club — 231 being the name of the gun powder for their weapon of choice, the 45 caliber Colt 1911.

J Bartell wrote The 231 Club with Ginger Marin, a former writer/producer with NBC News, New York.  Read more at

Watch video interviews by author J Bartell by visiting his YouTube Channel.

Visit Ginger Marin’s Author Page on AMAZON.COM

“There’s a Boy in Here” – Book Coverage

by Ginger Marin

The following is book coverage I did long ago for an entertainment company.

There’s a Boy in Here: Authors: Judy & Sean Barron


This is the story of the BARRON family: from the point of view of mother JUDY and her autistic son SEAN, told in alternate narrations, as much as Sean is able to look back and decipher his early childhood actions. Other family members include father RON and younger daughter MEGAN.  They lived in Poland and Boardman, Ohio, roughly 60 miles from Akron.   The book was four years in the writing, begun when Sean was 25-years old, after he decided he wanted to help others understand the nature of his illness, seeing it from the inside out.  In 1965, at the age of four, Sean Barron was diagnosed AUTISTIC, a word the Barrons had never heard before.  It was the search to define that illness, then the fight against it that lead to Sean’s emergence from his fate with the ultimate proof that he had in fact emerged, the writing of this book!

After Sean was born, he cried incessantly, never consoled by food, having his diaper changed, or being held.

At the age of fourteen months, Sean began to exhibit a series of inexplicable behaviors.  He never made eye contact with his mother, nor for that matter took any notice of her whatsoever.  He hated to be held, twisting and squirming away from her much like a trapped, frightened animal.  He developed seemingly irrational, compulsive, destructive, repetitive actions such as taking toys, kitchen utensils and anything else he could find, plopping them onto a tabletop and just as fast whacking them off just to see them fall.  The behavior went on for hours at a time.  It was to be one of many such distractions that sent Judy into such a rage that she resorted to screaming and spanking.  Her only reprieve was when little Sean would exhaust even himself and fall heavily asleep.

Sean’s other favorite activities which would extend for hours at a time were picking at the fibers of a carpet, flicking light switches on and off, flushing objects down the toilet and throwing crayons down the heat register where they would, of course, melt.  He was of particular nuisance to his mother who stayed with him all day and an abomination to relatives when the Barrons visited for family dinners.

Judy’s mother didn’t even support Judy’s belief that something was wrong with Sean.   The grandmother loved Sean dearly and treated him as normally as she could, ignoring his misbehaviors as much as she could.  However, with Judy it was another matter.  Judy literally had to grab and shake Sean to get his attention.  Over time the shakings grew harder just as did the spankings.  Sean only grew angrier.  He despised his mother since she was the primary source of his scoldings.

Pediatricians refused to acknowledge Sean’s strange behavior, nor his excessive diet, eating only starches, but never fruits or vegetables.  Theirs was a ‘he’ll grow out of it’ attitude.

Almost two years after Sean’s arrival, daughter Megan was born, a happy, healthy child, a total contrast to Sean in every way.  Sean ignored her too until much later when she became his staunchest supporter and best friend.  Well over two years of age, Sean still had not uttered a word, let alone babble, until one day when he muttered a series of numbers.  Soon after, Judy figured it out.  Sean could tell time to the second!

At age four, spankings worsened for Sean when Judy resorted to a wooden spoon.  She hated herself for being as much out of control with her own behavior as Sean was with his.  Ron and Judy finally sought psychological help for Sean with DR. COHEN.  While Sean ran rampant through the doctor’s office, his parents discussed the circumstances of Sean’s birth.  They were told they shouldn’t have had their second child so close in age to Sean, and that by kneeling next to Sean when they spoke to him (height was intimidating) their child would react better.  Judy and Ron could hardly believe their ears.

Sean was taken to a Speech and Hearing center, a neurologist, and a neurological pediatrician who practiced in AKRON.  Judy resented being treated in a highly condescending fashion, once again blamed for all of Sean’s misbehaviors.  DR. LOGAN diagnosed Sean’s autism and prescribed medication. He also sent them to a clinical psychologist, a DR. ROSSI who was to provide a behavior modification program.  Sean showed only the slightest improvement with the program and over time Sean learned to despise Dr. Rossi’s therapy sessions.  Judy lost whatever little bit of confidence she had in this doctor when the doctor admitted even he resorted to spanking Sean for not properly explaining a bit of behavior.

Dr. Logan prescribed a second medication after the first stopped working.  This one sent Sean into such a frenzy, his parents feared for his life.  No more medication they said…no more Logan!  But, Judy will never forget Dr. Logan’s pronouncement about Sean: “you’ll wish your son had been born blind, deaf or retarded because autism is the worst…if there’s any progress it usually stops at puberty; you may have to institutionalize him”.  Judy’s and Ron’s only response: “NEVER!”

Sean’s next big step was kindergarten at age five.  His parents hoped and prayed somehow the change of pace and scene would catapult Sean into someone half normal.  It actually worked a little.  The routine of class hours and what was expected of him, comforted Sean.  At home, though, his behavior worsened; he became a storm of activity, flying through the rooms, destroying much in his path.

At age six, Sean became addicted to speedometers.  Moving cars or stationary it didn’t matter.  It was an addiction that almost cost him his life when he ran into the street to look at one of them.  Next, Sean’s fascination with dead-end streets, followed by fear of left-hand turns that sent him into deafening rages each time the family car was to make one.  Sometimes all it took was a single spoken word to send him into a rage.   His list of “RULES” grew: the family had to sit in certain chairs; no one could arrive in the kitchen in the morning before him; he had to be the last one on the school bus going home each day.  He hated the number 24 because the number 24 schoolbus was always late.  He hated his teacher because she was 24 years old!

When Sean was 9-yrs old Judy got a job teaching reading to sixth-graders.  Sean became fascinated with murder cases and murderers.  On one occasion he awakened his parents by standing on the edge of the bed and asking them what they think would happen if he poured gasoline on the bed and lit it.

At age 10 and in fourth grade, Sean is enrolled at BEECHBROOK FOR EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED CHILDREN, located in Cleveland.  He attends for nine long months, returning home only on weekends.  It’s a sad time for all. Sean is tremendously unhappy; his family misses him but at the same time, they’re able to experience what it means to live a normal family life.  Therapy sessions at Beechbrook fall into the same category as those that preceded them – blame the mother.  Finally the Barrons could take no more of it and Sean departed Beechbrook for good rejoining his fifth-grade class.

In February 1976, Judy’s mother died.  She was Sean’s only ally as he saw it.  It had a profound effect on him. In his own words he describes realizing for the first time that he had loved her all his life but he could never tell her.

Soon, Sean decided he needed a sense of humor.  He hoped to achieve one by memorizing every line of every scene of every episode of “GILLIGAN’S ISLAND”.  It neither gave him a sense of humor nor endeared him to anybody.

In spring of his 14th year, Sean experienced what he described as the most terrifying thing to ever happen to him: his father stopped speaking to him for eight days.  Ron couldn’t stand Sean’s negativity and anger any longer and swore he would never speak to his son again.  Sean was devastated and did whatever he could to get back into his father’s graces: clean the house, mow the lawn, whatever.  Finally his father apologized.  So did Sean and in his mind, Sean, promised to control his own behavior all the while knowing it was an impossibility.

At 15, Sean entered high school.  Because he never was able to look at himself in the mirror, he constantly appeared a mess.  He couldn’t work buttons or shoelaces.  Most problems, he felt, couldn’t be fixed so he simply ignored them.  He became deeply interested in Astronomy.  What easier way was there to pretend he did not exist in our sphere of reality?  What easier way could there be for Sean to travel as far away from Ohio and the source of his grief than in his imagination to other planets?

His biggest change came in March 1978 when the family moved to LOS ANGELES.  His parents, good friends with singer MAUREEN MCGOVERN from their hometown in Ohio, were to co-manage her career and write lyrics.  Sean was apprehensive but also hopeful he could escape the torment of his schoolmates.

Sean’s biggest breakthrough came at age 17 when the family watched the film on TV called SON RISE about an autistic boy.  He recognized himself and following the movie, Judy acknowledges having her first real conversation with her son.  It was then that Sean declared war on his disease, and growth, while extremely hard for him, came in bits and pieces over the years to follow.  Sean realized he wanted to help other people.  He took a “Coping” class and soon worked as a volunteer at a neighborhood nursing home.  Sean started to learn to deal with his compulsions.  While there were times when he still flipped out and grew angry with Judy, she now knew she could at least bring him back from that brink.

In June of 1980, Sean graduated high school and decided to go to college to study elementary education.  He got a job as a teachers aide at a preschool.

The EMERGENCE from autism came between Sean’s 17th and 19th years.  All his life he had been destructive, negative, self-absorbed, insensitive and heartless.  All that changed. He began to read newspapers, he bought an old car and developed a love of vintage jazz.  He even learned to play the trumpet.

Still, Sean knew he wasn’t out of the woods yet with regard to his own behavior.  It would be a lifetime of trying to control what had once controlled him.

The family lived in Los Angeles for five years before Judy and Ron told Sean they would have to move to NEW YORK to continue their work with Maureen McGovern.  Megan agreed to leave Los Angeles, but Sean, instead, made the decision to go back to Ohio…to where his problems began.  Judy begged him not to but he went anyway.  He lived in YOUNGSTOWN where he finished school at the university.  Sean lived a lonely existence for a long time before reaching out.  He became a volunteer at the school’s crisis center and for the first time in his life he came to understand the magnitude of others’ problems.  He started to make friends.

At the end of 1985 he met his first real girlfriend, LYNNE, with whom he stayed three years.  It was a loving, caring relationship, so important that he dared to reveal his childhood autism to her.  It didn’t matter to Lynne one bit; she loved him all the more.  When the relationship ended this time, Sean’s world did not and he went on to date again.

Sean graduated college in June 1987 with a degree in early childhood education.  Megan graduated from New York University and the family flew to Ohio to give them both a graduation party.

Sean now works full time in rehabilitation at a nursing home in Youngstown.  He loves his life in Ohio and his job and he still does volunteer work (with Alzheimer’s patients).

He still fears the angers inside him.  Perhaps his biggest challenge will be to constantly be on guard against the old habits that might lure him into old behaviors.  His biggest love – his family!

Note: Sean wrote his portion of this book from his home in Ohio, while Judy wrote from New York.  They collaborated over the telephone.


Upon reading this book, one must believe the parents to be some kind of saints for having not only put up with, but loved and supported such a child as Sean whose hyperactive, compulsive, irrational, cold-blooded behavior made him appear a devil-child.

Most of our sympathies lie with the parents, particularly Judy in the early stages.  But two strong images come to mind that clearly depict Sean’s tormented life: his cowering in a corner of Dr. Rossi’s office after the doctor spanked him and his running after the family car on the grounds of Beechbrook begging to be taken home.

The device using Sean’s narration to counter his mother’s to explain his behavior is well-served.  He allows us inside his tortured mind as much as he can with memories of why he loved to throw things down the heat register (to see where they would go and how far; what was down there), why he played games with people (needed to control conversations; needed attention), why he couldn’t stop doing repetitive destructive actions (sometimes to see how things work; fascination with movement; it was his only satisfaction) and why he hated his mother (she stopped him from doing the things he loved to do).

All emotions are in play in this book from love to hate, anger to pity.  On one occasion father Ron destroys Sean’s room, so frustrated and angry with the years of destruction on Sean’s part.  We empathize with his behavior, just as we do with Judy’s frustration that keeps her yelling and hitting Sean.

In his teen years we see Sean’s growth, now more visually than ever before.  We see him progressing in school with greater rewards, more mature behavior and more effort on his part to relate to the real world.  Ultimately, the biggest payoff of all, seeing Sean as he is today, working, functioning and loving.  We “see” him writing this book, over the phone with his mother, a woman he despised, a woman he couldn’t even look at.

If developed, the first THIRD of the screenplay should encompass Sean’s early childhood.  The events are so emotionally exhausting up until that time we would need a turn of events to both ease the level of frustration and to shape our sympathies in favor of Sean.  That mainly comes in Sean’s early adolescence when the concept of cause and effect begins to take hold of his sensibilities.  At 17, when he sees the movie SON RISE we know we are edging toward our payoff.  Sean declares war on his disease.  The struggle ensues and eventually Sean and his family triumph.

The book is the experience of one family and one autistic boy at a time (1965 at age 4) when very little was known about the disease.  It is not a “how to” book for getting children to emerge the disease and therefore, if developed for television, I would like to see the last five minutes or so devoted to an explanation of the disease, the current belief of origin (biochemical) and new ways to treat it. An interesting report showed, that with the help of a guiding hand, the autistic child could work a typewriter to express his own feelings and even write stories!  Also, let’s not forget all the reports of autistic children working with dolphins.

As autobiographical material and an excellent character study of a family struggling to cope, I highly recommend this book for development.  And depending on casting, it would work well in either Television or Features.

Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.

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