Spotlight on The Rx Factor – Author Guest Post and Giveaway


Five years after the death of his wife and children, Ryan Matthews is living alone with memories of his failed career in cancer research when fellow scientist Jordan Carver catches his eye. Preparing for a move to Mexico, Jordan plans to open a clinic where terminal patients will have affordable access to experimental medication. Despite Ryan’s skepticism on her willingness to bypass the FDA drug approval process, he is intrigued by Jordan’s passion and determination to provide alternative care to terminal patients. But when a violent explosion leaves the small Bahamian island of Exuma on edge, Ryan knows his life has once again been forever altered.

Drawn together by circumstance, attraction, and shared ambition, Ryan and Jordan become united in their international quest for the truth. The two embark on an explosive thrill ride ending in Washington, D.C., where the couple unravels the country’s best-kept secret: the government will stop at nothing to maintain the American way of life, with heartbreak and sickness for all.

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And now a guest post from the author:

A Solution to Transform Medical Research and the United States Health Care System 

Despite spending more than any other nation in the world on health care, only 15% of Americans believe we have the world’s best health care, according to a recent Pew Research Center and Gallup Poll.  The CIA world Factbook reports that the United States is ranked #50 in terms of average life expectancy. The average age at death in the U.S. is 78.49 years of age, over 11 years behind #1 ranked Monaco.

This is where you end up on the list with a “make money at all cost” health care system. However, I have a three step plan that will transform medical research and the health care system as we know it in the U.S.  If we act now, we can go from #50 to #1 by 2030 while at the same time cutting our spending on health care in half. My plan will also drive down insurance premiums, making coverage affordable for the vast majority.

Half of the country is demanding that the government stay out of health care while the other half is supporting a quasi-socialized health care system. With such vehemently opposing views, there is zero chance for a consensus and therefore nothing will ever get done that moves us in the right direction. And this is exactly what Big Pharma wants. Therefore, the first step is to change the debate. From Hillarycare through Obamacare, we have been debating {health care} costs and {health insurance} coverage. Cost and coverage are not the problems; they are symptoms of the real problems which are {unidentified} causes and {a lack of} cures.

The next step is to stop donating money to the mega health charities who each take in tens of millions of dollars annually by offering hope to find a cure, but continue to come up empty as a result of Big Pharma’s influence over all medical research.  Instead, not-for-profit universities conducting medical research need to sever their ties to Big Pharma and seek funding from private citizens. The vast majority of medical researchers want to be involved in discovering the cause and cures for human ailments, but they also have to live and they know who butters their bread. If private individuals fund this research, then our nation’s medical researchers no longer need to be beholden to Big Pharma.

The third step is to fight fire with fire.  Like any other publicly traded company, Big Pharma has a fiduciary responsibility to increase shareholder value by enacting business plans that will increase revenues and profits year over year.  In the current environment, the best way to accomplish that objective is to get more people reliant (addicted) on the drugs they produce.

Big Pharma’s mission is not necessarily to get every single American popping their daily maintenance drugs, rather it is to make as much money as possible and selling addictive maintenance drugs is the best way to accomplish that mission as things stand right now. Therefore we need to change the tax code and enact legislation to make their pursuit of profits align with the greater good of the health our citizens.

This can be accomplished by the carrot and stick approach. First we need to show Big Pharma the stick:

1.      Institute a windfall profits tax on any profits derived from any new products developed that is considered a maintenance drug.

2.      Eliminate deductions for R&D expenses associated with any drug being developed as a maintenance drug and not a cure.

Next is the carrot:

1.      No income tax paid on the profits generated by any product that cures a human ailment – for eternity.

2.      Offer permanent patent protection on any product produced that offers a real cure. Expand patent protection to natural cures documented in human trials.

3.      Pricing – fix pricing on drugs that cure human disease to make it as profitable to cure as it does to maintain in today’s health care environment.

This is all about money. If we have the courage to make those changes to the tax code and enact this type of meaningful health care reform, within 15 -20 years, we will have a cure for nearly every human disease known to man. In addition, the cost of health insurance will be affordable for almost everyone and the vast majority of us will end up living much longer and more productive and healthier lives.

About J. Thomas Shaw

J. Thomas Shaw is the author of The RX Factor, a fact based thriller that pits one man against Big Pharma and the FDA. Fact based fiction has the power to bring people from all walks of life together and focus on a single issue. Check it out at

Let’s Eat! by Denise Burroughs

Title: Let’s Eat!

Author: Denise Burroughs

Genre: Cookbook

About: At 51 pages, Let’s Eat! may be a slim volume but it’s packed with comfort-food recipes.  Many seemed  familiar to me – similar to recipes the cooks in my extended family make:  Meatball Appetizer; Chicken Casserole; Taffy Apple Salad; Fantasy Fudge.  Also included are 10 Tips from the Kitchen; How Much Of This Equals That?; Baking Tips; Baking Substitutions; Preparing Marinades And Sauces; Is It Done Yet?  I decided to try the following recipe:

Broccoli and Spaghetti


4 Tbsp. olive oil

2/3 cloves of garlic

14 oz. bag broccoli florets frozen

1 tbs. Red crushed pepper

Salt to taste

1/4 cup water

Grated parmesan cheese


In a medium size pan add 4 Tbsp. olive oil, 2/3 cloves of garlic.  Heat until garlic is sizzling but do not brown.  Add a 14 oz. bag of broccoli florets, red pepper and salt as desired.  Cook on low for about 20/25 minutes until broccoli is soft.  You can add a little water at the end if desired.  Pour over angel hair pasta.  Add grated parmesan cheese on top.  Broccoli florets can be either thawed or frozen.

My experience with this recipe: I used 1 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes and I thought it was too hot.  Next time I would cut way back on the pepper flakes.  My family agreed that while it was tasty it had too much heat.

My Thoughts: The first thing I noticed is that there is no table of contents which I think is essential.  I was also a bit confused about a measurement abbreviation in the recipe I made.  It called for 1 tbs. of an ingredient.  I guessed that meant teaspoon but I was taught that tsp. is the abbreviation.  So I went for a teaspoon and hoped for the best.

Despite my quibbles and because the recipes do not seem difficult or intimidating, I think even beginner cooks would feel comfortable using this book.  Let’s Eat! might be a useful resource for those times you want to make some comfort food or for your contribution to the neighborhood block party or family get-together.

Source: Denise Burroughs for her virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book

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About Denise Burroughs: She’s the owner of a paint and body shop and a member of NAPEW (National Association of Professional & Executive Women 2007-2008). A love for cooking and a desire to share wonderful family traditions was put to paper to create Let’s Eat.  There have been so many people who have inspired her in her life, but no one inspired her more than her mother.  Many of the recipes in this book have been served many times over and enjoyed by family and friends.  She is happy to share them all with you and hopes you enjoy every bite as they were all made with lots of love.

You can visit Denise at


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at Beth Fish Reads

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.

The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts

Title: The Snow Globe

Author: Sheila Roberts

Genre: Fiction/Christmas

My thoughts: The Snow Globe is the story of three friends: Kylie, Suzanne, and Allison.  Kylie buys a beautiful antique snow globe that comes with a story about a man who thought his life was over when he lost his family.  He found, though, that life could change and be good again.

Kylie’s life is in a tailspin.  Her fiancé left her for her younger sister.  She’s trying to move on even though she also lost her job. It’s just her nature to put a positive spin on things so she’s willing to believe the snow globe could show her what could be in her future.  Her friends, however, are not convinced.

Suzanne is a Type A person who wants only the best for her family – as long as it fits in her plan.  On the outside, her life seems perfect but on the inside, things are starting to crumble.

Allison just kind of goes along with the flow in her life which usually has her putting up with bad behavior from her family, boyfriend, etc.  The one person who made her feel good is now gone and she feels quite alone in life.

Each young woman finds out what having the snow globe in her possession can bring to her life.   The question is:  Will she be open to what she sees in the snow globe?

The Snow Globe was a delight to read.  Kylie, Suzanne, and Allison find that if they actually stop and look around, the answers to their problems might be very clear. Sheila Roberts’ entertaining story has a good message that is perfect for the season and the rest of the year as well.

I recommend this book to fans of Sheila Roberts and Christmas season fiction.  Take a break from holiday errands and read The Snow Globe.

Source: St. Martin’s Press; Sheila Roberts


About the author: Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have appeared in Readers Digest Condensed books and have been published in several languages. Her novel Angel Lane was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009 and her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas is slated to be a Lifetime Channel movie presentation this December. When she’s not hanging out with her girlfriends or hitting the dance floor with her husband, she can be found writing about those things dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

You can visit Sheila Roberts at her website, Facebook, and twitter


Small Change by Sheila Roberts

Small Change

Small Change is about three women – Rachel, Tiffany and Jess – who are friends and neighbors. For different reasons they find themselves on the same financial boat and it is beginning to sink. Rachel, a divorced working mother of two, is coming to the end of a long-term substitute teaching job and can’t find another job. Tiffany works at a salon and has a shopping addiction that she tries to hide from her husband. Jess, housewife and former stay-at-home mom, has a jobless grown son living at home and a husband who is about to lose his executive job. These women need money. Yesterday.

Sheila Roberts’ latest novel holds a mirror to an issue faced by many people these days: financial difficulties due to job loss and related fall-out. Trying to compete with her ex, Rachel spends money on her children for things they really don’t need because she feels guilty saying “No” to them. She realizes that the unnecessary spending has to stop when she sees the end of her paychecks looming. Tiffany loves finding a bargain and she finds herself in trouble when she can’t pay her credit card bills – the cards she promised her husband she wouldn’t use anymore. She’s at the point of hiding purchases from her husband. Jess has a boomerang kid who sleeps until noon, surfs the web for a few hours looking for a job, and then heads out for the night to party with friends. That drives her husband crazy and results in shouting matches between father and son. On top of that, her husband’s bank has been bought out and he’s about to lose his job. Talk about stress!

In the past Rachel, Tiffany and Jess would meet weekly to make a craft, talk, share a bottle of wine, etc. In light of their financial situation they turn the weekly gabfest into brainstorming sessions for ways to bring in more money and improve things at home. There are moments of tears and lots of moral support as they start to figure out why they spend and begin to work their way out of their money troubles. It’s not an easy journey but the three women cheer each other on as they face the challenges along the way.

I think everyone can identify with at least one of the characters or knows someone just like one of the women. Because of that, Small Change would be a great selection for a book club. In typical Sheila Roberts style it is entertaining while addressing a serious topic. Roberts offers her characters (and readers) suggestions for cutting expenses and how to live well on a budget. I’m looking forward to trying a couple of her ideas myself!

Visit Sheila’s Website:

Review copy provided by the author

Review: 21 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes by Cherie Burbach

21 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes

One of my children was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was six. She’s now in her early twenties. When I saw the chance to review Cherie Burbach’s book 21 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Someone With Diabetes I signed up. Ms. Burbach has lived with diabetes for many years which gives valuable first hand perspective. In the introduction she states:

This book is:
* a source of encouragement
* a prompt for education
* a starting guide to diabetic etiquette
This book is not:
* a medical reference book
* a substitute for a nurse, doctor, or other medical professional

Three of the 21 topics addressed are:
* Learn about the disease
* Don’t view insulin as a cure
* Retire from the diabetic police force

The author points out if you take the time to learn basic facts about diabetes you’ll find that much of what you thought you understood to be true is simply not true. For instance, one gets Type 1 diabetes from eating too much sugar. Wrong! The fact is the pancreas ceases to function properly. When my daughter was diagnosed the medical professionals at our wonderful clinic (at a top tier children’s hospital) made the point of saying insulin is not a cure, it is life support. That drove home the point. It keeps one alive but it doesn’t cure the pancreas. The Diabetic Policing issue is ongoing for someone with diabetes. Ms. Burbach is right about that. In our extended family there was always someone who would look at my daughter’s plate and say “can you eat that?”. Probably asked with good intentions, but really quite rude and unsupportive.

In straight-forward terms Ms. Burbach explains how to be there for a friend, co-worker, or relative who has this chronic disease. My daughter also read the book and said it made some great points but also thinks it might be asking too much of some friends and co-workers. This reminds me that everyone has her own perspective. I wish 21 Simple Things had been around when she was newly diagnosed. I would have given it to relatives, teachers, coaches, etc. I think it would be an excellent resource for people who have someone in their life who is living with diabetes. I also think diabetes clinics should have it on hand for the newly-diagnosed and their families.

You can read Cherie Burbach’s guest post here.

You can buy the book here.

For more information, please visit Cherie’s website:

Review copy from the author