Wages are back in the news. As elections approach in various areas of various countries, it seems that there is no data which makes us all realize that the highly profitable companies are paying much lower wages.  In the United States, as well as many other western world countries, there is a program whereby people receive vouchers, cards or stamps to be used to purchase food.  In the U.S. it is called SNAP.  There is a limit on the amount of money you can earn to to qualify for the SNAP at least in the U.S.  In the state of Ohio, one out of every ten Amazon employees is on the food stamp program.  Why?  The Federal minimum wage is $7.25 although many states have a higher minimum rate.  Even if the employees at Amazon are paid one dollar more per hour, if they have a family of four they still qualify for SNAP.  There is something wrong with this picture.  Good wages should be paid so that people can afford to live decently.  Even if the wages are reasonable, the cost of living is much higher and therefore many families cannot make it easily.  It’s not just Ohio either that has this problem. Illinois, New Mexico, Georgia and Tennessee all have an even greater number of people being paid low wages who are unable to afford to exist without government assistance.  Apparently, the Amazon staff in Pennsylvania has the exact same problem.  The article that I saw discussed this today only focused on Amazon.  I expect that there are many other large companies that believe they are paying fair wages, but their employees still can’t survive.  It’s not about buying delicacies at the grocery such as  steak and lobster.  It’s really about people trying their best, working hard, only to be able to barely survive and not thrive.  In the Good Gus series, always available on Kindle worldwide, wages were never discussed.  I hope you will think abut the series are part of your young child’s reading for the summer.  “Misplaced Trust” is not about wages, just money and greed.  Two of many people’s favorite topics.  It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.


   Have you ever heard the saying, “Money is the root of all evil?” Well, whoever said it had it wrong. The lack of money is the root of all evil.  If you stop and think about it, you will agree.  The world revolves around money.  Without it we all struggle.  When unemployment in any country is high, the crime rates increase.  Yet, when unemployment is low so are the crime statistics.  It is actually quite logical.  Lack of money is not about the haves and have nots.  There are plenty of people around the world who have a great amount  of possessions so it’s not really about that.  Without money we can’t afford decent shelter, clothing,  food, and in some parts of the world medical care.  There are reasons that there are bad neighborhoods.  It seems to be where the individuals end up because of a lack of money.  They end up settling just to exist.  The sad part is that many families struggle just to get by.  Some individuals work two and three jobs in an effort to live reasonably.  Just last night my son stopped in an area that late at night is not that safe.  He wanted to make an ATM deposit.  He was driving and when he pulled up to the ATM he looked around to see if anyone was lurking about.  As he was about to reach up to the ATM a man began approaching.  He had been hiding behind a delivery truck that was in the car park.  My son ignored him but then he suddenly saw two more men heading towards him.  He quickly put his car in gear and drove off.  Their desire to mug him because of their lack of money would have ended up badly.  In the Good Gus series, the lack of money was not present in any story line.  Available on Kindle, the series can brighten any child’s bed time story.  “Misplaced Trust”  clearly shows how people act particularly when they have a lack of money.  It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.  Congratulations to the real Gus.  He was married today to the love of his life!

 Small changes can result in many things. The smallest thing can turn almost anything around.  It may be so minute that it would be barely noticed.  Yet, when it occurs it could change everything.  For example, you decide you are going to sell your home.  It doesn’t really need a renovation but small changes can make a difference in your bottom line at the time of the sale.  Inventors often fiddle and fool with their products.  Sometimes they initiate a modification that is minor yet it can make or break the product.  In a recent episode of “Numbers”, on Amazon Prime,  which is a U.S. based TV series, a son changed a few things on a new technology type of aircraft.  The plane was constructed of materials other than metal.  It was similar to a Harrier in that it could raise itself from the ground.   Unfortunately, the small changes the son made not only made the plane crash but his dad died in the process.  People trying to be more successful should look at what they do every day and see what might need to be modified or changed.  Often it makes such an impact that your income goes from practically nothing to wealthy.  Today is an exciting day. Miss Patty suddenly remembered that there was a book fair today in California.  The smallest change of listening to the radio made her realize that the fair was today and not next Friday.   Miss Patty is at a book fair in Balboa Park, California.  She  sold ten books from the Good Gus series.  She also passed out stickers in case any parents wanted to purchased additional books on line at Kindle.  If you decide to read “Misplaced Trust” you will find that when a person, before they pass, if they make small changes to their trust, can literally wreak havoc with the beneficiaries who may have expected more.  The book is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

 As the saga continues from the former co-worker, he is still attempting to seek revenge.  He seriously needs to move on from his revenge project.  Unfortunately, there are people literally around the globe who seek revenge.  Wars have been started.  Families have broken up over it.  The workplace has become difficult for many individuals.  Often it can be something as simple as jealousy.  However, if a person’s ego is wounded, they seem to go to great lengths to extract revenge.  Life is too short for this yet people can’t seem to stop it.  I know of a custody case where the motive of the father is pure and simple.  He doesn’t want to pay and wants to hurt his ex and child as much as possible.  Sadly, this is common and not unique to anyone.  Look at the workplace.  Individuals will sabotage their workmates.  They may tamper with their projects, sneakily put in place items that may not be noticeable but will ruin someone else’s work or idea.  How many movies have you seen where jealousy takes over and a workmate will steal a co-worker’s idea and present it as their own?  It’s a theme in many movies.  The point is that egos will always be bruised, pride will be more important, and jealousy will rear its ugly head often in the name of revenge.  In the Good Gus series there were no acts of revenge.  It is important for children to read positive stories without monsters, violence, political agendas, etc.  Always available on Kindle, the series is a good start for summer reading once school is out.  If you are wondering if “Misplaced Trust” has chapters about revenge, you are correct.  You would be amazed what individuals will do.  The book, ideal for early evening reading, is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

 The decision process can be very difficult. However, if you approach it correctly and weigh the pros and cons it may be easier than you think.  Some people make a list to see which are the  decision factors that they need to consider.  Unfortunately, individuals don’t always include everything in their analysis.  Let’s take a job offer.  You receive a job offer that is not as close to your current position, but the pay is higher.  Things to consider.  When people look at jobs, they don’t see the whole picture.  For example, your new job is slightly father so what is the cost of the extra commute?  If you take a train or a bus, the price of the ticket will be higher.  You will have to allow extra time because it is further away.  If you drive, you not only have to consider the cost of petrol but also the wear and tear on your vehicle.  Most people never consider that factor.  Again, you will have to leave earlier to arrive on time.  Next could be attire.  Does the new job require a more formal business attire?  If it does you meed to factor the cost of dry cleaning and/or laundry.  You also need to include an upgrade to your wardrobe.  If the new job is really far you need to consider the cost of eating lunch and/or dinner as opposed being to able to pop home for either meal.  Once you examine all the factors, then the decision process can be much easier.  Nothing is ever cut and dry which is why it is so important to take time and weigh in all factors before making a final decision.  In the Good Gus series, when the children decided to do things they did not consider the decision process and  often there were consequences.  The series, set in Texas in the old west, available on Kindle worldwide, offers a different type of story for the young reader.  In choosing books to read, the decision process could lead you  to read “Misplaced Trust.”  It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

There appears to be a preponderance of violence particularly in the United States and some European countries. What is fascinating, though, is American television and their crime shows.  As a lover to the BBC, they certainly have their share of mystery type shows that do contain violence.  However, in the U.S., the stories,  one assumes,  are generated from news headlines.  It is surprising what lengths people will go to attain their goal.  It usually in some form of violence.  A few of the story lines consist of criminal kidnapping other individuals including a child.  The story line with the child was relatively simple.  The kidnappers took the child at the end of her birthday party and were using her as leverage to hack into the U.S. Federal Reserve to make purchases ahead of the interest rate announcement.  Another incident occurred when again a woman was taken and used to draw money drafts to be used for counterfeiting.  It’s almost amazing how far a criminal will go to make money.  If they took their brains and utilized them in a positive way, they would be better off, out of jail, and probably well off if not wealthy.  The short cut is never the answer particularly in life.  What is sad is that the amount of violence that occurs every day is steadily increasing not only in the states, but Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America.  You cannot look at a newspaper or the internet without seeing the everyday violence.  It seems easier to access weapons and use them.  In the end, though, what does violence achieve?  Literally nothing.  In the Good Gus series there is no violence, weapons, politics, or racism.  Always available on Kindle worldwide, the series offers a refreshing change from the fake superheroes, monsters, political agendas, and bodily harm as part of a story line.  If you have no desire to read about violence, then a good choice would be “Misplaced Trust.”  It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

 There are many types of affection. Not all of them involve even touching one another.  When people do displays of affection individuals may react.  I think it depends on exactly what they are doing.  We are all affectionate with our children and families.  Yet there are individuals who prefer not to be touched and are uncomfortable if they are gently touched or you attempt a hug. When I was in high school, even if you had a boyfriend, you really didn’t show your affection in public.  The farthest you might go is holding hands.  Certainly, no kissing.  One day when I was sitting on the bus waiting to go home, there were a few couples in front of the school who were kissing quite passionately.  That is when I heard a girl saying to another girl, “They’re doing it.”  I knew what they meant but it was shocking to hear.  Just because teens kiss doesn’t mean that.  Sometimes simple displays of affection make another person aware of how much you appreciate them.  It could be a nice card that they receive in the mail, a small but thoughtful gift, or even coming home from work to find dinner ready, all the laundry finished and the house is clean.  That is just about every working woman’s dream!  Even with friends, a quick call can not only brightens their day but it also shows you are interested in them and that you care.  In the Good Gus series, there are no actual displays of affection.  However, it is clear from each and every story, all thirty-four, (first five available on Kindle), that everyone truly cares about each other and are always available to help whenever needed.  A thoughtful expression of affection is to give a book to anyone.  “Misplaced Trust” is an interesting choice and is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

Recently I heard about the thought police. Apparently its an old term that has become popular again.  There is a continual argument and battle within various countries around the globe about free speech.  However, the realization that colleges, governments, your neighbors, workmates, and possibly even your family want to restrict your thinking is unbelievable.  I discovered this when I saw an episode of “Last Man Standing” on U.S. television.  The show consists of a family with three grown daughters.  One of the daughters is attending fashion college.  She was in charge of finding someone to give a speech to a graduating class.  When she couldn’t find anyone famous she asked her dad.  He was pleased and wrote a speech.  It was rejected by the committee because he had the audacity to open with Ladies and Gentlemen as the committee said they may be a gender neutral person.  Since there are only two human species male or female it seemed to be difficult to understand.  Whenever he said anything in his speech, all of his words were rejected by the thought police.  He went on to say that if you work hard you will be successful.  That was also rejected by the thought police because there are individuals who do work hard but are not successful.  I think you get the picture.  Finally, he asked his daughter to choose a business woman he knew and the committee agreed.  She was from Pakistan and started a small sandwich shop.  She built it into twelve stores.  In the Good Gus series the thought police did not exist.  The times were quiet and laid back.  The series is available on Kindle worldwide.  If you are concerned about anyone who appears to be the thought police in your life, let them know they need to mind their own business.  “Misplaced Trust” may not be about the thought police but it is about greed and control.  The book is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and grandmothers in the United States!

 If you said the word drivers to a golfer he or she would immediately think about his clubs. However, I am writing about drivers in general.  The drivers in many countries are obnoxious and rude.  Here are a few examples.  Last night my granddaughter and I were playing in the front garden.  My daughter lives on a somewhat busy street and the cars going by are inconsistent in volume.  However, last night we were playing soccer and a car drove past and said something and then gave us the finger.  Not only was it uncalled for but it was rude.  Also yesterday, my son was sitting in traffic.  He drives a somewhat low sports car.  A truck with some men pulled up next to him and tried to pour beer onto his car.  He was simply sitting in his vehicle minding his own business.  What is going on with these people?  Do they have to try to get a rise out of others?  Do they think its funny because it isn’t.  Again, same drive home, my son was waiting for a green arrow to make a turn.  What did the car behind him do?  Pulled out in front of him once the arrow appeared. What was in that person’s head we will never know, but he almost caused a accident.  The only drivers in the Good Gus series were the people who drove wagons and that included children.  The series, always available on Kindle, has in book twenty-two, “The Field Trip”  which included the first day of school for a new family.  As the little girl, Katie, was in a wheel chair, Sheriff Gus was the driver of the wagon to introduce her and her brother to Miss Patty and the other children.  If drivers are getting you down, now that spring is here, grab your tablet and relax in the warmth of the sunshine with a read of “Misplaced Trust.”  It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

 Everything in life, lately, seems like a constant battle. Businesses compete fiercely to take their competitor’s customers from them.  The mobile phone companies are a perfect example.  Once they have you in a contract, they offer a new incentive to all new customers at a much lower rate to join their service.  Groceries are another business that are in constant battle to draw new customers.  They offer lost leader items in an attempt to get you into their store.  Once you are in for their specials, you end up spending much more than you originally anticipated.  If you didn’t know, a lost leader item is a product the business offers at a loss in anticipation that the customers will purchase triple what they originally planned to buy.  The dating sites are in constant battle to lure customers claiming they are all the best.  Though I have never used them, I understand that when people are looking they join all of them.  There are commercials for free week-ends in hopes of enticing new customers.  For businesses that have employees or contract people, it is a constant battle not only to keep them but to to offer competitive wages.  Even then, there are individuals who literally blackmail the owners into better wages or higher commissions.  They also tend to determine when they will work even if appointments have been set for the sales staff.  It’s not easy.  In the Good Gus series, available on Kindle worldwide, it was a constant battle with the weather, insects and animals.  You can check out Mae’s Story Time on YouTube to give you an idea.  If your life is a constant battle try to find things that will relax you and calm your brain.  Reading a good book always comes to mind and “Misplaced Trust” is always available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

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