Meningitis Outbreak linked to Injectable Steroid

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you. This summer is going by so fast and I just keep getting busier and busier. I’m at the pool with my kids as I write this post. One of their friends asked them to go swimming and here we are.

Last night I watched 60 minutes and I was horrified to learn the drug company, New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc. had manufactured an injectable steroid (MPA) that was contaminated. How was this discovered? Good question.

It was discovered when there was an unusually large outbreak of Meningitis. The company has recalled the drug, but they maintain they have no knowledge on how this could have happened.  However, one of their employees at the time confessed that the company got greedy and cut some corners; the way I interpret that is the company cut corners sterilizing their product.

It must be noted that at the time NECC also owned a recycling plant right next door.  Gee…I wonder how things got contaminated…but of course, I’m speculating.

Now, because of the way NECC manufactured their product they fly under the radar of the FDA. A change occurred in the law in 1998 where the FDA no longer monitored those companies that manufactured this form of the drug.

How unfortunate, because people who have been injected with this contaminated drug are dying. NECC has declared bankruptcy, but not before they pulled millions of dollars out of the company.

That makes me angry. The executives should be giving that money to the victims and helping them. Instead, they took the money and kept it for themselves.

How in the world, were they able to do that? What kind of society do we live in that tolerates this kind of abuse? The only answer that I can think of is the executives were tipped off and removed the money before the accounts were frozen. Why aren’t they in jail?

It saddens me to think that these corrupt executives don’t care about their victims, and I’m hoping that the government puts much more stringent guidelines on companies that manufacture drugs.

Of course, that won’t bring back the lives that have been lost, will it?

For more information about this click on the link below.

http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/outbreaks/meningitis.html

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any thoughts on how we can guarantee the medication that we receive from the hospital is sterile, I’d love to hear them!

 New Romantic-Suspense SPLIT DECISIONS by bestselling author Carmen DeSousa!

New Romantic-Suspense SPLIT DECISIONS by bestselling author Carmen DeSousa is now available!

SplitDecisionsLargeNEW

Split Decisions is a follow-up novel to the romantic-suspense bestseller She Belongs to Me. While you do not have to read the first book to enjoy the second, we believe you should have the option, so click here to avoid spoilers.

If you’re still here, read on for a first peek at Split Decisions and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Book Description:

Sometimes you want something so badly you are willing to abandon everything you’ve ever known—including yourself.

Eighteen years ago, Jaynee Monroe married the man of her dreams, became the mother of four, and fulfilled her career goals. About to turn forty, she senses something is missing from her idyllic life. While Googling her name in an attempt to find herself, she unearths something so impossible, she contemplates her own sanity. Seeking answers, she embarks on a journey to discover the truth, only to end up abducted by a deranged stranger who insists on calling her Caycee.

Caycee took the road less traveled. Rejecting a marriage proposal from the only decent man she ever knew, she ventures to California to become famous. Eighteen years later, success has left her alone and miserable. Attempting to locate her lost love on Facebook, she discovers his infatuation with her. Not only does his presumed-dead wife have Caycee’s uncommon middle name, it appears he has photo-shopped her face over hers.

Never could Caycee and Jaynee have imagined decisions they made years earlier would threaten not only their lives but also their loved ones. Caycee must now reunite with the southern gent she dismissed eighteen years ago and convince him to accompany her to New York to locate his wife, the most important person in both their lives.

Download Split Decisions here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Now all you have to do to register to win the $10 Amazon Gift Card is share this page via Raffle Copter. Contest ends 7/1/13 at 12:00 a.m. EST and you can share daily if you want. Good luck!

Unfortunately Rafflecopter does not work on my blog! Boo! So to enter Carmen’s giveaway just go to her blog and enter the rafflecopter there! Here’s the link!

http://www.carmendesousa.com/

  Welcome Julia as She Shares Her Experience With Cutting With All of Us

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve been busy this last week with Blog Hops and Book Fairs, but I’m back with another teen issue. The issue I’m talking about is Cutting or Self Harm.

According to my research, cutting is on the rise. In fact, the number of children and teenagers who have asked for help after considering hurting themselves with knives or drugs has gone up by two thirds in a year.

Read more from this article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2243369/Worrying-teenage-trend-self-harming-sparks-sharp-increase-calls-Childline.html

I read about this and I wonder how does this happen? How do teens spiral down into this web of hurting themselves to feel better? So, what I did is, I spoke with someone who’s been in that predicament. Please welcome Julia Blakeney. She’s here to share her story on Self Harm.

Welcome Julia!

First a little bit of information. Julia is nineteen years old and a sophomore in college. She’s hoping to transfer to LSU for the next academic year.

This is Julie with her sister. Julie is on the right.
This is Julie with her sister. Julie is on the right.

Julia how did this all start?

It started in high school. I was feeling depressed and my mother, who was in health care at the time, took me to the doctor. He prescribed an anti-depressant (Prozac) and had me speak with a social worker. That worked for a while.

Then the summer after my junior year in high school my brother and my best friend went to boot camp. My brother, who is two years older than me, went into the army. And my best friend, who is one year older than me, went into the Navy. I felt totally alone and I didn’t have anyone to talk to.

So would you say your brother and your friend leaving was a trigger to the cutting behavior?

Yes. I would have to say that. I became angry and felt like I was screwing up all the time. My parents always seemed mad and so did my sister. And I couldn’t talk to my mother when she was angry with me.

Is this when you started cutting yourself?

Yes. It made me feel better to cut myself. It seemed to relieve the pressure. Please understand the cutting is not to get attention like so many people think. I tried to hide it. I would wear bracelets to hide the scars.

Why do you think you started cutting yourself?

I felt angry. Angry at being left behind by my friend and my brother. I also repressed a lot of anger and sadness. I wouldn’t let myself be sad or cry over missing my friend and brother.

Why do you think cutting made you feel better?

I’m not sure why cutting made me feel better. Maybe it was because of the adrenaline or it could be about control. You know, controlling the pain.

Did your Social Worker know?

I stopped going to her at the end of my junior year, so I don’t think so.

How did you stop?

I finally told my mom. And she was really cool. She didn’t yell or scream at me, but she did take away all the sharp objects that I could use to cut myself. I didn’t want to ask for help. My mom had me go back to my therapist and I switched medication. I dropped Prozac and started taking Zoloft. That’s when I stopped cutting.

However, I became anti-social during my senior year. I wasn’t feeling well emotionally and I didn’t want to be around people. I stayed in my room a lot.

Wow. Sounds like you were going through a lot. Can you tell us the warning signs that we should look out for?

Yes. My behavior changed radically. I was happy and outgoing and then I became withdrawn. I was sleeping a lot and that worried my mother. She took me to the doctor because she thought I had Mono.

I was crying a lot and then I shut down my emotions because no one wanted to hear about it. That’s when I started cutting.

Thanks Julia for being brave and sharing your story with us!

Cutting or Self Harm is a sign of emotional distress that young teens can’t articulate into words. According to http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8006_self-harm  young women are more likely to engage in this type of behavior. For more information on self-harm please click on this link.  http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8006_self-harm

Thanks Julia for being here today and sharing your story. If you suspect someone you know is engaging in this type of behavior please let an authority figure know, so they can take steps to intervene before it’s too late. Because self harm is the first step toward suicide. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts. If you have a question, speak up and we’ll try and answer it for you! 🙂

Thanks for reading my post today! 🙂

The Benefits of Exercise

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! Today I’m going to discuss a subject that’s near and dear to my heart and that is improving my health. I’ve made a plan that I’m going to eat better and exercise more this year.

I started my plan this week. Today, I ran three miles (on the treadmill…yuck) and when I was done I felt great. I had a hard time tearing myself away from my manuscript though. For me, starting the run is the hardest part. 🙂

My goal is to get back into shape. I’ve been a runner for years, but because of the holidays and sick kids I’ve been lax and haven’t been running as often as I should. So I made a New Year’s resolution to get back into the habit of running and working out regularly. I also do strength training exercises. Those aren’t too bad because they don’t take a big chunk out of my day.

What I find after my run is that I’m much more relaxed and creative. I have a more positive attitude. I also find that if I have a problem with one of my manuscripts and I step away from the computer, and either go for a run or a hike in the woods I usually work the problem out. Physical activity stimulates my brain in a positive way.

I’ve found there is scientific proof that this is true. My body releases endorphins when I exercise which improves my mood and lowers my stress level. For more information on this click here http://www.informationgateway.org/positive-effects-exercise-mood/

I run but I also love to walk. That’s right, walking has the same effect on your body that running does. Did you know that you burn the same number of calories whether you walk a mile or run a mile? The pace does not matter.

I feel that this is an important piece of information. Especially for people who can’t run because of an injury or they just don’t like to run period.

In my opinion, the only difference between running and walking is that walking doesn’t work out the heart like running does. So, if you have a family history of heart disease, like mine does, then it’s in your best interest to do some form of exercise that works out your cardiovascular system. If you don’t like running try riding a bike or a spinning class. Both work out the cardiovascular system without all the stress on your joints.

There are also other benefits from exercising. It reduces stress and also combats depression. So if you’re feeling low go for a run, ride a bike, or just go for a walk. Get moving and get your blood circulating and get the endorphins running through your brain. You’ll feel better. I know I do. 🙂

I know it’s hard to find time to exercise. This is my biggest challenge. There’s so much that I want to accomplish during the day that taking a half hour to exercise and then clean up seems like a huge sacrifice. But I’m actually more productive when I do take the time to do it and we all know the health benefits of it.

I also know that as I continue to run I’m going to have to increase my distance which will take more time from the other things that I want to accomplish. Maybe by increasing my distance it will also increase that positive energy that I always have after a good run. I’ll have to find something to do with all of that positive energy.

Hopefully, I’ll write some more bestsellers! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope I’ve inspired you to get moving and improve your health. 🙂

Get to know Catherine Bennett, Author of “The Trouble with Charlie”

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m interviewing Catherine Bennett today, so read on she’s got some pretty intriguing answers! 🙂 Take it away Catherine!

1. What inspired you to write your Book?

I liked to walk in an affluent neighborhood a few miles from where I live. It had nice walking trails, beautiful homes and probably a few secrets that would work well as a Romantic Suspense. The story developed from there.

2. Why should readers read your book?

It is like a chocolate bar. Once you’ve had a little square of it, you want to devour the entire thing! No seriously, I LOVE my characters (even the cat has personality) and the intrigue will keep you guessing until the end.

3. Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

Usually, I begin with random thoughts on post-it-notes, and then move onto a   notebook. Once I begin typing, watch out! Once I truly commit to a story, it is liberating, but until then it is tedious work.

4. What stage of the writing process do you find the most difficult?

Getting started! With “Charlie” I had to research a lot of police procedure to make the story believable. The editing is tough as well. I couldn’t believe so much had to be chopped. I think that part is a difficult process for every author.

5. What’s next for Catherine Bennett the author?

Right now a few thoughts are in the post-it-note stage and one idea has made it to a written outline. Everything seems to be leading to another Romantic Suspense, but then there’s the dreaded research!

Fun questions:

  1. Tell us something that no one else knows about you.

I am somewhat of a junk food hoarder and I’ve been known to hide my snacks  in odd places so no one else will eat them.

2. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I like English mysteries such as Agatha Christie and Anne Perry. Amanda Quick writes captivating historical Romantic Suspense. I also like fantasy such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” and cartoons like “The Far Side”. Oh, and I like to peruse books about gardening and dogs.

3. Who’s your favorite author?

Agatha Christie is right up there.

4. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

I enjoy going out to eat and would go every night if my husband wasn’t such a good cook.

5. If you could interview one celebrity who would it be and why?

You served up the hardest question for the end! My husband would say Bobby Flay so I could get some cooking tips (I am an awful cook) but I would say author Anne Perry. First of all, she is from Scotland and I would be entranced by her accent and second, she is a wonderful mystery writer.

Thank you, Lisa for allowing me to spend time with your readers. I’ve really enjoyed it!

All the Best,

Catherine

You’re welcome Catherine, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. And readers here’s the cover and blurb for Catherine’s book along with the buy links! 🙂

Cover Blurb:

Love. Desire. A psycho bent on revenge. But can Charlie Reynolds recognize the most dangerous of the three?

Since being out on her own at eighteen, Charlotte “Charlie” Reynolds is a street-smart “good” girl who hides her desire for love and security behind her feisty and independent personality. She just never expected a more noxious hero than wealthy, self-consumed Evan Gardner, the CEO and founder of Valley Tech., a successful software company in Los Angeles. From the moment Evan rescues her from an apparent random attack, their attraction for each other bubbles just below the surface of all-out passion.

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00849AM9I/ref=as_li_tf_il?ie=UTF8&tag=cathebenne-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00849AM9I

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-trouble-with-charlie-catherine-bennett/1110924132?ean=2940014458948

http://astraeapress.com/#ecwid:mode=product&product=10046834

Where To Find Catherine:

http://catherinebennett.org/

http://twitter.com/author_cbennett

http://pinterest.com/authorcbennett/

Tag Your It!

I’ve been tagged by Amazing Astraea Press Author Leah Sanders! I’ve been challenged too!

1. Go to page 77 of my manuscript

2. Go to line 7

3. Copy the next 7 lines/paragraphs

4. Tag 7 other authors to do the same

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer

 

She got down on her knees, and backed up to the window once more. Sliding her feet through the opening, Sarah arched her back, and then hung down into the inky darkness. Fear squeezed her throat, making it hard for her to swallow. Dangling, Sarah tried to work up the courage to let go.  The pressure of her body weight made the rough window ledge dig into her hands, the pain intensified the longer she hung there. Taking a deep breath, Sarah let go.

Landing with a soft thud, light clouds of dust surrounded her, making her cough. Her eyes watered as she felt the darkness closing in on her. She drew a ragged breath and cleared her throat.

“Hey, are you okay down there?” Jackie asked, peering down into the basement.

“Yeah…I’m all right, I guess. I just don’t like closed in places,” Sarah croaked, then cleared her throat again.

She scuffed her shoe in the dirt making up the basement floor. Immediately, another cloud of dust rose around her feet.

Waiting for the dust to settle, Sarah peered around the basement and noticed the low ceiling and all the cobwebs. No one has been down here in years. She wrinkled her nose and took a few steps toward the basement stairs. Under them she spied some large boxes. Sarah walked closer studying them. These would make great stairs.  After several attempts and coughing fits she moved some of the boxes and created a box staircase under the window. The dust swirled in the air disturbed by Sarah’s activity.

“Okay, guys, come on down! You’re the next contestant on the Price is Right.” Sarah laughed. It sounded unnatural to her, high and tinny. She knew she sounded anxious, but she couldn’t help it—she was.

Jackie giggled as she wiggled through the window. “Tell me what I’ve won, Bob.”

“A nice long stay at Leavenworth Prison compliments of Officer Klonsky!”

“And that’s not all!” Jackie announced. “You get to make a fashion statement in that hot new color penitentiary orange. It’s all the rave these days.”

The girls burst into laughter. Laughing felt good to Sarah, releasing some of the tension in her body.

Here’s the link to Amazon if you want to read more! 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/Super-Spies-Lady-Killer-ebook/dp/B007JZH61K

The Seven Authors that I’m tagging are:

1. Bri Clark

2. Ruth Hartman

3. Rebekah Purdy

4. Joselyn Vaughn

5. Patty Seino-Gordon

6. Sharon Ledwith

7. Nell Dixon