“I was in St KITTS last week for a vacation. A very nice lady came up to my husband, my friends, and I. She saw we were all reading e-readers. She explained that her son just wrote a book about a person on a cruise, also gave us your card. Well I just finished reading your wonderful book, I really think you have a best seller. I enjoyed your book so much, it was wonderfully written. I am recommending it to my book club and all my friends. Please continue writing, you have a gift.”
— Karen Cavan
“U Got to Have U Some Fun follows the journey of John Smith and his 7-day cruise in the Caribbean. After losing his son and the failure of his marriage, an unexpected ticket allows John to take a risk and live life outside of his comfort zone. During his journey, he meets dozens of colorful characters, each one schooling him on an essential life lesson. These lessons and epiphanies include surviving grief and loss, resiliency in the wake of despair, romance and second chances, patriotism and political idealism, and of course, living in the moment and learning to have some fun. The book also includes insider information about the cruise industry. If you’re looking for a true literacy excursion, then hop aboard U Got to Have U Some Fun and enjoy the ride!”
— Megan Robinson, Alexandria VA
“Have you ever felt like life is passing you by and there are so many things left to experience? Are you just working through the challenges life has thrown at you and not really living? Do you need an “AHA Moment” to make yourself go out of your comfort zone and have some fun?
For anyone that has been on a cruise ship, or someone like me who has never taken a cruise, the book vividly describes the back scenes of the ship and the diverse backgrounds of the employees. Do they like working on the ship? Are they making a good living? It includes the actual description of the living quarters, employee relationships, and employers’ expectations. Add in an array of interesting vacationers—their struggles with death, injury, and personal relationships—and you will be captivated to read the story about a group of people who meet for a week trying to forget everyday challenges and have some fun.
The story will allow you as a reader to experience the various island destinations and the unique characteristics each has to offer, whether it is snorkeling, high speed jet skis, bungee jumping, or sampling exotic food. The often dissimilar characters start to form a bond through their connection on the luxury liner in their quest to live life and not let it go sailing by!”
–Jackie Robertson, Certified Lighting Designer and Director of Lighting Showroom Operations, Hollidaysburg, PA
“[U Got to Have U Some Fun] is a delightful romp through the Caribbean with a diverse group of interesting characters. This first novel also shows deep insight into the character and life philosophies of several of them. Keeps the reader on tenterhooks until the very end for the final ‘revelation’. A compelling and entertaining read!”
— Maripat Wright, Chairperson of the Carteret County Library Board of Trustees
“A heartfelt story that reminds us of the importance to live life to the fullest no matter what challenges or sadness we may have to endure. Finding our inner dragon can help us fight our fears and like the metamorphosis of a butterfly, change our lives forever.”
— Lynne Eisel, Curriculum/Instruction MA and School Teacher, Altoona, PA
“U Got to Have U Some Fun is a light and enjoyable read. It takes place on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. I felt like I was actually on vacation with this eclectic group of characters all searching for happiness.
Mostly it’s about the main character, John Smith’s quest to learn to live with peace and happiness after losing his son, Carson, to war. This book is about overcoming survivor guilt and your inner fear…and enjoying life while you can. It’s about learning to deal with loss and life in general. As John Smith reinvents himself he realizes ‘nothing belongs to us, we usually earn what we get’. He sets out to earn love and happiness, take some chances and listen to his heart. It’s part redemption story, part love story, part escape fantasy.
Overall it was a fun read. On a side note, the book was written by someone who worked for the cruise industry and you learn little bits and pieces of insider information about the inner workings of the industry. I knew that it wasn’t a lucrative career path, but had no idea how hard the staff really works.
With that said, it made me want to go on a cruise once I finished it.”
— Carol Norris, Owner of BRITE Brand Illumination, Norfolk, VA
“Andrew Harkless takes the reader on a remarkable voyage aboard a luxury cruise liner carrying a wonderful cast of characters. John Smith, an ordinary man so many of us can relate to, is embarking on his maiden voyage, not unlike first-time novelist, Harkless. Along John’s journey of self discovery, Harkless introduces us to unforgettable new friends; a foe you will love to hate; and many others for whom you will feel compelled to cheer on during their countless adventures at sea. This is one cruise you don’t want to set sail without you on board. It’s a ride you won’t soon forget!”
— Kathy Hammond, Office Attendant at Fairfax County Public Schools, Falls Church, VA
“I was surprised! I prefer nonfiction historical accounts, historical novels, current spy thrillers, and mystery novels. Occasionally, I’ll venture into a contemporary novel, but am usually disappointed. Not with this novel!
The story line, with several subplots, is fascinating, fast moving, and has an interesting touch of mystery that keeps you reading on. It is about a middle aged, average but semi successful man who has slid into a routine lifestyle that has deadened his senses, destroyed his marriage, and nearly condemned him to a dreary and dead end life. He is prompted to go on a cruise and immediately starts to run into characters that will change his life.
The entire supporting cast is well developed and several characters are quite interesting in themselves. There are good guys; bad actors all mixed up with deception, romance, comedy, and, of course, an enticing hint of sex.
While quite entertaining in itself, the book provides an intriguing and revealing insight into the cruising industry.
How many crewmen does it take to service a passenger list of 1800?
How many different countries do you believe these crewmen hail from?
What do they get paid?
What kind of hours do they work?
What are their motives for working a cruise ship?
You will be surprised. By bringing the main character and storyline into the bowels of the ship with the people who must actually deliver the cruising experience, those questions are very plausibly answered.
I enjoyed the book, not just because it was entertaining. It gave me cause to think. There is a subtle underlying philosophy about how life should be led. Don’t get into a rut, try different things, don’t be afraid of change, and don’t judge people prematurely, were just some of the themes that came to light. And there were more.
That may not be an accurate way to describe what I found in the book, but it has more than just entertainment value. Try it. See what you find. I highly recommend it and give it 4 ½ stars.”
— Dave Nelson, retired US Marine Corps Colonel, New Bern, NC
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