Happy Birthday Canada!

It’s a new month, with a brand-spanking new book hitting bookstore shelves in the coming week.

And we’re celebrating with a giveaway!

Emergency Reunion small

This is the final book in my connected stories of members of the Steele family that began with Perilous Waters last April, and continued with the award-winning Identity Withheld, last November. Click the image to learn more.

I was thrilled to learn that Emergency Reunion received a “Top Pick” designation from RT Book Reviews

and the reviewer Leslie McKee had invited me to share about the inspiration for the story on her blog today, where…

we’re giving away a copy!

So please click through above and enter at her blog for a chance to win an autographed copy!

And check out super fun interviews with all my summer release characters here for another chance to win: http://www.jessicarpatch.com/2015/06/win-book-and-play-fun-game-w-sandra.html

And…the fabulous and super-generous reviewer, Kav, will also be reviewing the book later this week and giving away a copy. Check out all of her week’s reviews and giveaways, as they post, here: http://bestreads-kav.blogspot.ca/

And check out the fun bonus features I’ve added to the site for it. Aspiring writers might especially be interested in the editor’s commentary and deleted scenes.

Big Giveaway at The Book Club Network

If you’re a member of The Book Club Network,

We’re having a discussion about

Herbal remedies vs. pharmaceuticals

on the Revell loop.

Join the conversation for a chance to win one of 5 copies of

Desperate Measures.

Herbal Remedies – Hype or Helpful?

Join me at the

Fresh Fiction Blog

for a guest post about herbal remedies related to my

Port Aster Secrets mystery series

and

Leave a comment there for a chance to win a copy of Desperate Measures, a mug and some tea!

(ends June 21st)

Speaking in the Cafe Tonight!

For those in the St. Catharines, Niagara area, join me at Heritage Christian Bookstore Cafe at the Grantham Plaza, 400 Scott St., St. Catharines, for a behind-the-scenes peek at the writing of the Port Aster Series and a lively Q&A.

It all starts at 7 PM. Hope to see you there!

Port Aster Secrets by Sandra Orchard

Surviving a Series

Join me at the

International Christian Fiction Writers blog

today, where I’m sharing a tongue-in-cheek perspective on

surviving the writing of my Port Aster Secrets series.

Port Aster Secrets by Sandra Orchard

Questionable Pharmaceutical Company Practices Inspire Mystery

Desperate MeasuresIn the final instalment of Port Aster Secrets, Kate Adams is determined to figure out what is so special about the plant GPC Pharmaceuticals is so desperate to control.

In doing background research for this novel, I found plenty of real life examples of questionable pharmaceutical company practices. Practices that sadly corroborate my fictional company’s bad guy persona, as well as, the mayor’s political efforts in Blind Trust to pander to the company.

Here are some random examples:

-thanks to a whistleblower, one company was forced to release over 100 documents that showed the company was planning to cherry pick favourable data from one trial and bury results from unfavourable trials

-a large pharmaceutical company was fined over two billion dollars for the way one of its subsidiaries marketed several drugs. Yet the fine was just 14 per cent of its revenue from the drugs over a seven year period–little more than the cost of doing business.

-an investigation into another major drug, showed that not all studies were provided to regulators, and that the company intimidated a doctor who’d criticized the drug. Hundreds of the company’s documents continue to remain hidden from public view under court seal, despite a multi-billion dollar lawsuits by patients.

-Companies spend billions wining and dining doctors to encourage them to upsell their drugs. Mort than one company has bee charged with paying kickbacks to increase sales and off-label marketing

-Since any company convicted of a major health care fraud is automatically excluded from Medicare and Medicaid–a corporate death sentence since it would prevent the company from billing federal health programs for any of its products and disrupt the flow of drugs to patients–the feds cut a deal. Instead of charging the parent company with a crime, prosecutors charged a newly create subsidiary, whose only function was to plead guilty. That company, that had never sold a single pill was excluded from Medicare, while the parent company was free to continue to do so. Its fines amounted to the equivalent of three month’s profit.

Do you feel a tad indignant after reading the examples?

I did, which made it all the more satisfying to help my heroine ferret out the truth about the company that cost her a lifetime with her father. Although…

I must add from personal experience that I am extremely grateful for the many life-enhancing drugs pharmaceutical companies have developed over the years and their help in making them financially attainable.

Your Turn: Have you had a particularly good or unhappy experience with a pharmaceutical?

Our Giveaway Winners: 

Thank you so much to everyone who shared vacation highlights on last week’s blog. I really enjoyed reading all of them. I assigned each one a number and used random.org to choose the winners. 

The winners of Identity Withheld are: Ann Allen, Sara Davidson, Jackie Layton

The winner of Lisa Belcastro’s series is: Steph Nickel (your # really was the 4th one drawn, which was so apropos since you’d mentioned time travel in your post)

The winner of Emergency Reunion is: Sherida Stewart

An added bonus winner: Tandy

I’ll email each winner for mailing information. If you don’t see an email from me by Sunday night, please check your spam or go ahead and email me directly.

A Vacation-Inspired Giveaway

Last week, I went on a mother-daughter vacation

MV-mother-daughter

to visit my super-cool writing friend Lisa Belcastro on Martha’s Vineyard.

mv-beach picnic
lobster picnic on beach at sunset

And what a week!

Fans of the movie, Sabrina, with Harrison Ford, will know this building as the one his character buys for a homeless shelter. It's really a bank.
Fans of the movie Sabrina, with Harrison Ford, will know this building as the one his character buys for a homeless shelter. It’s really a bank.

We’re all writers so we had lots of fun talking writing, even joined Lisa’s crit group one evening. Inspiring stuff.

We also soaked in the beauty of God’s creation.

mv-menemshe
We hiked to the island’s highest point–a whopping 300 feet above sea level.
mv-martha's vineyard beach
We walked the beach.
mv-martha's vineyard beach 2
Walked many beaches. Each one was a little different.

Lisa was a wonderful tour guide, offering lots of fun tidbits about the island, as she does in her Vineyard based books. Even showed us the best place to hunt for sea glass. I found a red piece!

mv-harbor
We saw lots of sights.

mv-colorful houses Martha's Vineyard

mv-martha's vineyard lighthouse
We even saw the crew working at moving a lighthouse in from the rapidly eroding cliff’s edge.

And if all that wasn’t enough to refill my creative well and give my writing a much-needed kick start, I also received lots of exciting news last week. holtfinalist

NRCAFinalistSandraOrchard

 

 

 

In addition to finaling in The Word Awards, Blind Trust is a finalist in the Selah Awards for Mystery/Suspense. And Identity Withheld is a finalist in the Holt Medallion for the short inspirational category, and…is a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for contemporary series suspense/adventure.

Lisa also received news that she’s a double finalist in the Selahs and a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best Award

mv-celebrating

The president, who vacations on Martha’s Vineyard, sent over a bottle of champagne for our impromptu celebration…

Okay, just kidding. I’m a fiction writer, remember? But…the bottle does have the president’s seal on it! Lisa clearly knows people (but you didn’t hear that from me, shh)

To celebrate, I’m giving away books!

Three copies of Identity Withheld to three lucky winners.Identity Withheld

 

And a set (on kindle) of Lisa’s Shenandoah inspirational romances to one more lucky winner.

mv-Lisa Belcastro

Monday Update: I just learned that my July release, Emergency Reunion, was a Top Pick at RT Book Reviews, and my box has arrived, so…I’m adding a copy of it to the giveaway, too.  😀 

Your Turn: Tell me about your most inspiring vacation (in the comments below) for a chance to win. (If you win and already have Identity Withheld, I can gift it to a friend from you.) Names will be drawn randomly from all entries received by midnight May 23rd. EDT

 

P.S. Desperate Measures has been spotted in bookstores! And…is already shipping from some online stores! It’s also still up for a Goodreads Giveaway. And Deadly Devotion is still free in Ebook.

Five Life Lessons Writing Has Taught Me

Please join me at Elaine Stock’s Blog

where I’m sharing a humorous look at

Five Life Lessons Writing Has Taught Me

ID-100266921 cartoon writer
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Back Story on the Making of Port Aster Secrets

Happy Tuesday!

I’m at the Craftie Ladies’ Blog today sharing a little about the history of the Port Aster Secrets Series.

Pop by and say hello!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

If you’re a mother, I hope you’re treated extra-special today!

tulips2

If like me, you’re a daughter whose Mom is no longer with us, or if your children are far from home, I’m sending you an extra big hug.

I was browsing through the box of cards I’ve collected over the years. I’ve been blessed with children who write me some really sweet things.

And their appreciation has grown through the years. Now that my eldest daughter is a mother herself, added to her list of thank yous is:

“thank you for disciplining us–I’m beginning to realize how “unfun” this can be at times.” 😉 

Have a blessed day everyone!

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”

Goodreads Members Click Here to Enter a Giveaway for Desperate Measures (US and Canada)

(I have turned off comments, because I’m taking a few days off my computer)