Life's Golden Ticket: An Inspirational Novel

Life's Golden Ticket: An Inspirational Novel

4.5 19
by Brendon Burchard

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The classic inspirational parable from the top motivation and marketing trainer and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Millionaire Messenger—a triumphant tale of personal growth and change that will inspire anyone who has ever wished for a second chance.

What if you were handed a golden ticket that could magically start your life anew

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The classic inspirational parable from the top motivation and marketing trainer and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Millionaire Messenger—a triumphant tale of personal growth and change that will inspire anyone who has ever wished for a second chance.

What if you were handed a golden ticket that could magically start your life anew?

That question is at the heart of Life’s Golden Ticket. Brendon Burchard tells the story of a man who is so trapped in the prison of his past that he cannot see the possibilities, the choices, and the gifts before him. To soothe his fiancée Mary, clinging to life in a hospital bed, the man takes the envelope she offers and heads to an old, abandoned amusement park that she begs him to visit.

To his surprise, when he steps through the rusted entrance gates, the park magically comes to life. Guided by the wise groundskeeper Henry, the man will encounter park employees, answer difficult questions, overcome obstacles, listen to lessons from those wiser than he, and take a hard look at himself.

At the end of his journey, the man opens Mary’s mysterious envelope. Inside is a golden ticket—the final phase in turning his tragic life’s story of loss and regret into a triumphant tale of love and redemption.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In his debut motivational novel, Burchard (The Student Leadership Guide) narrates a fantasy trip through a ghostly mountain amusement park that offers visitors a "golden ticket," or second chance at transforming their lives. The price of admission to the closed-down park, the narrator discovers, is to be open to possibility, face the truth and give up believing that change equals pain. He also must stick closely to his host, Henry, who serves as wise counselor ("let me reflect back to you what I've heard"). During the narrator's trip, he samples various amusement park rides (all with allegorical meaning) and revisits his past. Each carnie he meets is a motivational guide with spiritual wisdom to impart. The themes are familiar: risk change; forgive; take responsibility; be bold; contribute; look at the other person's point of view. A gimmicky addition: readers are invited to open an envelope (not seen by PW) attached to the inside back cover after completing the story. Burchard is a competent writer and full of earnest enthusiasm for his topic; the introduction tells of a real-life car accident a decade ago that served as a wake-up call and precipitated this fictional message. Readers dissatisfied with their lives but not wild about nonfictional self-help books may find inspiration for change here. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
An enchanted amusement park teaches people how to better live their lives. At the opening of Burchard's debut, the unnamed narrator sits at the bedside of his comatose fiancee Mary, who had gone missing for 40 days after they had a fight. Mary wakes briefly and tells him to visit a long-closed theme park where her younger brother had fallen to his death years earlier. The narrator follows her instructions, but finds that the park has not reopened-at least not in the conventional sense. Groundskeeper Henry becomes his "sponsor," making him sign a contract that declares, "I agree to give up my defense mechanisms and face the truth. . . . I agree to give up my belief that change equals pain . . ." From there, Henry leads the narrator through the good and bad moments in his own past, and in Mary's. He witnesses her brother's death and understands for the first time that her parents blamed Mary for it. He confronts the roots of his often uncontrollable anger by reliving encounters with his abusive father, who abandoned him as a teenager when his mother died. The end of the narrator's "journey" through the park finds him willing to put more into his relationship with Mary, who had embarked on a similar adventure during her disappearance. He also reconciles with his estranged father, learning that it was Dad who instigated the whole learning process with his own willingness to change. Burchard sacrifices plot, character development and prose for the sake of his Message-an unfortunate decision, given how very vague that message is. Hokey self-help advice thinly veiled as fiction.
James Redfield
“Three cheers for Life’s Golden Ticket for helping us heroically step forward and claim who we are meant to be.”
Jack Canfield
“This is a powerful parable of loss, love and redemption that will stir the souls of its readers. Burchard has crafted something eternal here.”

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Life's Golden Ticket
An Inspirational Novel

Chapter One

The Envelope

I was standing in the bathroom shaving when I heard the voice from the television: "We interrupt this program to report breaking news on the Mary Higgins disappearance."

I dropped the razor in the sink, threw a towel around my waist, and bolted for the living room. Mary's picture filled the left half of the screen. The stoic local evening news anchor said, "Miss Higgins, who mysteriously disappeared forty days ago, has reportedly been found. . . ."

Oh my God. I waited for the worst.

". . . A spokesperson for the Highway Patrol said Higgins was taken . . ."

The telephone rang, and I scrambled for it, still keeping an eye on the TV.

". . . hospital just fifteen minutes ago, where she is reportedly . . ."

I snatched the phone in mid-ring. It was Mary's mother, Linda, talking so quickly I could catch only half of what she said.

"Linda, slow down," I said. "What's going on?"

". . . We're here with her . . . you've got to get down here . . . they found her. . . . They found Mary!"

I glanced at the picture of Mary on the screen. "Jesus, Linda," I breathed. "It's on the news. Is she okay?"

"We're at the hospital. You've got to get down here . . . now!" she said.

"Linda, is Mary okay?"

"Just come over as fast as you can. Room four-ten. I gotta go. Hurry."

The line went dead.

I burst into the hospital lobby and was blinded by camera flashes. A wall of reporters surrounded me, shoving their cameras and microphones inmy face, barking questions.

"What is Mary's condition?" . . . "Do you know what happened?" . . . "Have you spoken with her parents?"

I'd never been so glad to see a nurse in my life. A sturdy woman in white pushed through the reporters and grabbed my forearm. "Give the man some privacy!" she commanded. "You—out of the way." She pulled me forward, parting the reporters with a running back's stiff-arm. Guiding me to the elevators, she shoved me in one and turned, blocking off the reporters behind her. "Fourth floor," she mouthed.

I pushed the button and felt a chill of dread at seeing the words next to it: Intensive Care.

The doors closed, muffling the reporters' shouted questions. I breathed in the sterile bleach-and-ether hospital smell, thinking how much I hated these places. Images of my grandfather, then my mother, flashed in my mind. Please don't let it be like that, I thought.

The doors opened. A nurse was at the desk.

"Ma'am, I'm looking for room four-ten. I'm—"

"I know," she said. "Go down the hall and take your first right. Fifth door on your left."

By the time she had said it I was halfway down the hall.

Rounding the corner, I saw Mary's mother, Linda, crying in her husband Jim's arms. A doctor was speaking to them quietly. A respectful distance away, Detective Kershaw, the officer in charge of the missing persons unit, stood staring at his feet.

I took a deep breath and tried to slow my heart. As I walked toward them I told myself to be strong.

Jim saw me first and whispered in Linda's ear. She wiped her tears, pulled away, and looked at me with sorrow-filled eyes.

Oh, no, I thought. Please don't . . .

My face felt numb as I reached them.

"Linda, is she alive?"

Kershaw sat across from me, fidgeting with his notepad and glancing up every so often at one of those awful seaside paintings that seem to be the required decor on waiting room walls. He probably knew that if he looked me in the eye I'd take a swing at him. In a contrite voice, he said, "Look, I got you all wrong—I admit that. Finding Mary the way we did, it proves you had nothing to do with her disappearance."

"It's about time you figured that out, you—"

"Whoa, now," Kershaw said, leaning back and putting his hands in the air, palms out. "I know you're upset. But like I said, I was just doing my job. You can't blame me for thinking you had something to do with it. . . ."

Still seething, I said nothing.

"Okay," he said. "Look—I don't blame you. Let's just start over. Let's talk like two people who want to figure out how Mary ended up on that highway. I know we've been through this a thousand times, but can you tell me once more about the last time you saw her? Can you tell me exactly what she said again? Now that we know where she ended up, maybe there's a clue in your last conversation."

Our last "conversation," I'm sad to say, was a shouting match. Shame and regret flooded my heart when I thought about it.

We were screaming at each other in the kitchen. Mary was on another of her we've-got-to-change-our-lives rants. The same old fight—every night, it seemed, right after dinner, for the past six months. She was tired of me sitting in front of the TV after work, tired of my being "distant," tired of my cynicism, tired of feeling weak, tired of living a life that she considered below us. Tired, she said, of being tired.

"We're drowning here," she said. "Drowning in despair, in our own pools of pessimism." That was her favorite phrase in combat: "pools of pessimism."

"You don't know how lucky we have it," I shot back. "My folks would have killed for a pool."

A line like that usually broke her stride and cooled her down—I was always good at making her laugh and changing the subject. But not this time. Her face sagged, and she started to cry. After a few moments of sobbing, she looked up and said, "I think I need to go away for the weekend. . . . I was going to ask you to come with me, but I don't think you're ready."

She'd never said anything in a voice that serious before.

Life's Golden Ticket
An Inspirational Novel
. Copyright © by Brendon Burchard. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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What People are saying about this

James Redfield
“Three cheers for Life’s Golden Ticket for helping us heroically step forward and claim who we are meant to be.”

Meet the Author

Brendon Burchard is a prominent life coach, leadership speaker, and change management consultant: his clients have included Fortune 500 companies, startups, nonprofits, universities, and thousands of individuals in seminars across the country. Brendon donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book to Kiwanis International, Junior Achievement, and the YMCA. He lives in Northern California but still calls Montana, where he grew up, home.

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Life's Golden Ticket 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in years that I read cover to cover in one day. I loved the life lessons explored in the day in the park. Easy read, but deep content. I plan to re-read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book!! It had me captivated right away. The author really drew me in and I had to force myself to put it down in between sittings in order to go to bed or get back from my lunch hour at work! This was not only a great story, it teaches some invaluable lessons about appreciating the people in our lives and shows us that we CAN make a difference! Those who loved The Five People You Meet in Heaven (as I did) will also enjoy this book! I highly recommend it!! I hope this one is also turned into a movie. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is easy to read. Everyone will take something different from the story. You will be thnking about this book for the rest of your life. It is a must read. Just remember to keep an open mind always.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent Read, Great Lessons to Be Learned.
EducatorsCoach More than 1 year ago
I don't usually read fiction, but this book is different. In this book the author makes you face your past, present and future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How can the author fit all this information into 178 pages. I laughed, cried and sat on the edge of my seat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it in a few hours, just couldn't put it down. It was an inspirational novel, absolutely recommend it.
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Pinederosa More than 1 year ago
I can't believe it took thirty-four years of my life to finally come across a book like this. I wish there were more books that shared the same flow, emotion, and lessons of life. I'm not going to provide details because I strongly feel that if I give away any part of this story, you'd lose out on the full impact. For those who expect details, I apologize.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I began reading this book yesterday and was compelled to keep reading until the finish. The author has woven a very interesting story with unforgettable characters into a larger tapestry of life. The most important theme of the book has to do with the choices we can make to turn our lives around - but it is not at all "preachy". The way I know this was a terrific book is that I cannot get it out of my mind. With any luck, I will see MY way clear to embracing all the possibilities available to ME. READ this book - you may change your life!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book received a lot of hype and I hurried out to buy it. Unfortunately, the book was not all it was made out to be. It was poorly written and I found myself skimming most of it. Would not recommend this book to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was just ok. A very short read, but even so, it seemed to drag on....I couldn't wait for it to end. The message was there and ok, but belabored through seemingly endless encounters with characters at "the park" Disappointing.