Everyone who is older wants to look younger. The number of products available is astronomical.  It is a wonder that they all stay in business.  There are lotions and potions, supplements, exercises and various products that only a licensed physician can provide. Those include Botox, face lifts, light therapy and more. The number of ads for this is staggering.  If it wasn’t for the older generation, many of these companies would be out of business.  People who abuse themselves their entire lives with drinking, smoking, lack of exercise, eating fast food, high caloric intakes on a daily basis, are the ones who once they discover they are going to die if they don’t change their ways, are their best customers.  Too little too late is usually the case.  However, while they are trying to hold onto life, they will spend any amount of money, do anything and try anything to make themselves well again and look younger.  The hair loss industry loves this as well.  Everyday I see adverts for thinning hair, going bald, losing hair, etc.  The amount of money spent to save a person’s hair is enough to feed a family of three for a week.  Sure we all want to look younger as we age but if you abused yourself your entire life, unless you have large sums of money for plastic surgery and are willing to give up your old ways, it is never going to happen.  Not that this has anything to do with the Good Gus series, it’s just that once again today older women are showing off  on internet their bikinis just to prove they do look younger.  The series can be found online at Kindle with a few books on Nook and Waterstones.  “Misplaced Trust” does have characters, particularly females,  who wish to look younger, but the younger men come along to steal all their money and for a brief period they do believe the are younger and beautiful. The book is available online at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

Have you ever noticed how stories are exaggerated?  People start out with something uncomplicated as they talk about an event or an occurance.  It could be something really simple but then the next time it is repeated the storyteller embellishes it a little and before long it’s barely close to the original event. For example, I saw on “The Andy Griffith Show” recently a story about Opie doing a project for school.  He had to write about the Mayberry Battle.  He had looked at the local library but there wasn’t really anything significant.  He had heard many stories and thought they might be exaggerated.  Since Andy had to go to Raleigh the next day, he told him he would drop him at the library.  Opie brought paper and pencil and took notes.  It turned out that it was a group of people on each side that didn’t really want to fight and in reality sat down to try to figure out their issues and began drinking.  By the end of the session, a couple of deer were shot and a pig.  This turned into a fierce battle that was handed down to various relatives within Mayberry.  It was decided that due to the extensive exaggerated circumstances of the non-existent battle, that Opie would interview local people who claimed their relatives were heroes.  Miss Krump, his teacher, agreed that this was the best approach.  I never wrote any exaggerated stories in the Good Gus series.  They were designed to encourage reading, enjoy adventures and leave out the horrific happenings of the world today.  The series is online at Kindle, Nook and Waterstones with hard copies at the UPS Store in Tierrasanta, California.  “Misplaced Trust” had no exaggerated characters in the book.  It is also online at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

 Why do most of the plots in movies involve a misunderstanding? Is it because it creates drama? Often they are so simple that  you can figure it out fairly quickly.  Sometimes people take a misunderstanding too far.  They tend to take something small and insignificant and blow it out of proportion.  Then it escalates and anger ensues, hurt feelings and worse.  A misunderstanding at a bar leads to fighting, possibly jail, and injuries.  The alcohol compounds the problem but it tends to explode.  How many movies have you seen where a girl is waiting for her boyfriend and another fellow starts talking to her?  The later the boyfriend is the longer they speak and sip drinks.  Once he arrives, he sees them, assumes the worst and then it turns ugly.  Even though it wasn’t really anything except a simple misunderstanding, people seem to over react and then allow their emotions to run wild.  If they took a few minutes, didn’t assume, and allow the other parties to speak, then there wouldn’t be a misunderstanding or any issue.  Remaining calm helps just as in the Good Gus series, in book one, “Pecos Meets Bad Bart.”  Sheriff Gus assessed the situation.  As Bad Bart’s temper and voice raised, he spoke in an even tone and made it clear that the problem could be solved.  Rather than resort to violence or name calling, Sheriff Gus came up with a plan to satisfy Bad Bart.  It was easy but Bad Bart misunderstood and took out his frustration and anger on Bob at the sweet shop.  Available on Kindle,  the series is a good starter for young readers.  “Misplaced Trust” is full of people misunderstanding everything.  They take their anger, greed and frustrations out on the person available.  Each chapter is unique in that it gives the adult reader an idea of how people really behave, related or not, when money is involved.  It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

Once again drinking is in the news. It is causing serious damage to the up and coming young drinker.  It is particularly on the rise in the United States. Younger adults are drinking themselves literally to death.  They are developing cirrhosis of the liver at an alarming rate.  In the past eighteen years the rise in drinking with fatalities has risen 65%.  That is significant.  In addition, the U.S. also has an opiate problem which is out of control.  Just the other day my plumber came by to unclog a couple of drains.  When I asked him about his girlfriend I was shocked when he said she passed away from an overdose of opiates.  The opiates are prescription, but liquor is available everywhere if you have money.  Liver cancer has risen to sixth in the leading cause of death, again in the U.S.  The over indulging of alcohol, if not careful, can lead to binge drinking and even addiction.  It sends messages to the brain that often numbs whatever a person is trying to escape from.  It was originally called a condition.  However, it has since been relabeled as a disease.  It really is because there are individuals who become addicted and will drink until they can’t feel anything.  The consequences to their bodies are horrible and now with the new excesses, it’s even worse.  Drinking was never an issue in the Good Gus series.  Available on Kindle, it would have been inappropriate.  Plus, these are stories for children to enjoy and slip into the fantasy of the old west.  They face enough reality everyday without reading about it as well.  It also gives their brains a rest from monsters, violence, and other make believe that doesn’t lend a bit of history in their reading.  “Misplaced Trust” did have characters who had drinking problems and it was clear as a few of the chapters unfolded.  Grab your table and keep cool while reading this summer.  You can find it on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

To drink or not to drink alcohol is a continual debate on the internet regarding everybody’s health.  It appears that whatever study is published that they cannot agree on drinking alcohol.  Many articles say it is totally bad for you.  They claim it destroys brain cells and if you have a certain type of personality or are a diabetic you can become addicted.  Nothing is ever clear cut.  Today, the Rochester Medical Center announced that two drinks a day can help clear the brain and help get rid of the toxins associated with Alzheimer’s.  Their study claims that 2.5 drinks a day can help clear away the the proteins and wastes associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Still other studies claim that all alcohol is bad.  Where are the real facts?  If you look at individuals who live in other countries, many of whom who drink a couple glasses of wine a day have a lower rate of alcoholism, Alzheimer’s and dementia.   Yet, in many western countries the alcohol consumption is very high as well as the rate of alcoholism.  In Russia, where they make vodka, their rate of alcoholism is extremely high.  However, is it the alcohol or could it be the lack of jobs, true freedom, extremely cold weather and many other reasons?  It is a difficult question that will probably be studied and new results issued throughout the coming year.  In the Good Gus Series there obviously was no alcohol as the books are all for children.  The series is available on Kindle worldwide and books one and two on YouTube at Mae’s Story Time.  If all the studies about alcohol are confusing, try to figure out what is best for you.  Remember the gift of reading is a wonderful Valentine’s Day surprise.  “Misplaced Trust” is available online at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

Many people are quite loud.  It’s not just about having hearing issues.  They are generally very loud in their speech and often their actions.  There are individuals who live in loud homes.  There is even a children’s program on Nickelodeon entitled “The Loud House.”  It’s about a family that has all girls and one boy. He has ten sisters! It’s a cute show for the children.  Often people speaking to individuals who do not understand their native language end up raising their voices.  It doesn’t seem to penetrate their brains that speaking in a louder tone is going to help them understand.  As children, many of  us were noisy and boisterous.  As we matured, that subdued.  Now, however, if a person cannot get their point across they raise their voice.  That only escalates into an argument or a fight.  It often occurs in bars when people are drinking.  Two people start out speaking normally and having a good conversation.  Then, the more they drink, the   more they began to voice their opinions.  If they are different from their companion, the fur flies.  There is the other side of the coin in which there are people who complain if a person is too quiet.  They make remarks as to why they aren’t speaking.  They try to get into their heads and before you know it, the quiet person either loses it or walks away.  It’s almost a form of harassment because they aren’t speaking, as they may not be in the mood to do so, or they had a bad day and don’t want to talk.  In the Good Gus series the children were occasionally loud.  The series is available on Kindle worldwide.  If everyone in your home is too loud, find a quiet nook and take a chance on reading “Misplaced Trust.” It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd and Tolino.

When you think of studies the first thing that probably comes to mind is school and how grateful you are not to be doing that anymore. As we all progressed in life when we were finished with all schooling including college we were thrilled to leave the studies behind.  As you peruse the internet, the number of articles regarding studies for products are infinite.  There seems to be a new study issued almost every day.  In viewing this data, what is interesting is that often the studies contradict each other.  For example, many articles cite various studies on the benefits of drinking red wine everyday. They include important facts such as it will unclog your arteries, it is good for the heart, and in some ways it is an anti-aging product.  However, now there are new studies saying that women who drink any type of alcohol, including wine, have a higher risk of breast cancer.  My first question is who paid for all these studies?  Were the results slanted for the wine industry?  Why does alcohol only affect the women and specifically for breast cancer and not the men for any cancer? The one obvious factor in alcohol is that most people gain weight.   The next controversial research, in my opinion, is high fructose corn syrup.  It is derived from corn starch.  There is so much research on the syrup that it would take days of reading to find the truth.  The bottom line, in my opinion, is this.  In order to make high fructose corn syrup the companies need to modify it before they sell it to other food manufacturers.  The important factor in all this is that it is cheaper than sugar.  At least one study claims that the more you eat of this syrup or artificial sweeteners, the more you want.  That is probably true.  Other factors include that it can raise your cholesterol, cause hypertension, obesity (hidden calories as it is in almost every food in the U.S. but not in Europe), liver damage and high exposure to mercury.  All that would be enough to find any product not containing it. The point of all this is simple.  Check your facts and find out who paid for the studies and then you will know how accurate they really are.  In the Good Gus series the only studies were in school!  The series is available exclusively on Kindle worldwide.  If the studies have boggled your mind, find your tablet and read “Misplaced Trust” which is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

4thbbq utensils     bbq Today is a big barbecue day in the United States as it is the fourth of July, Independence Day.  If people aren’t having a barbecue at home they are attending one.  When I was a girl, the majority of my family had emigrated from Ireland.  They took all of the American holidays to heart and therefore it was a celebration day.  We would all go to one relative’s home, watch a parade and, of course, eat barbecue.  Everyone had a wonderful time and they are fond memories for me.  Today, however, the celebration is all about the sales.  It is not just in department stores, but car dealerships offer tremendous savings.  It is, I understand, one of their busiest times of the year.  There is also the traditional fireworks.  Various states hold the display on either the third or the fourth.  Many states do not even allow the sale of fireworks.  I always allowed my son to have a massive display of fireworks wherever we lived when it was legal.  When we lived in Texas, he put on such a huge display one year, that the following years the neighbors began competing with him.  He was eleven!  A little silly, don’t you think?  Many individuals believe that the U.S. is the only country that likes to barbecue.  The legislative body in Washington even changed the day light savings time so that people could have a longer barbecue season.  However, many countries do sell barbecues and when I lived in Ireland, we had a barbecue which we used year round.  We actually had two because we wore the first one out.  The other part of the fourth of July seems to be overeating and drinking.  The hospitals appear to busy with individuals who went a little too far in celebrating.  Many of the ex-Pats around the globe still take this day to remember the Independence of the U.S. from Great Britain.  The last part of the holiday is the movies.  Once again, a new movie has been released entitled Independence Day 2.  I am sure many countries have special traditions for their independence day as well.  The Good Gus Series, even though set in the old west, didn’t have any stories regarding July fourth.  It was still too new at that time.  Rather than mope about with the heirs of the will or trust you are administering, attend a barbecue and enjoy your day.  Then for some nightly reading visit maecharlesbooks.com and read “Misplaced Trust.” (books available on Kindle)

hurtful words signhurtful second sign There are people who think nothing of saying hurtful words. If they only took a moment to think before they spoke then they might not have regrets for the rest of their lives. It only takes a few second to stop and think before uttering hurtful words. It takes for some a life time to get over hurtful words. There are individuals who are rude and sarcastic every day. It has literally become a habit.  If a person points it out to them, they immediately react.  They are in denial, and they feel that they are not wrong.  It seems unreasonable that when the same words are spoken back to that person, that they cannot see what is wrong with their hurtful words.  This type of conversation towards others can be devastating.  It can ruin a relationship, stop siblings from speaking for years, and hinder employment.  Hurtful words last a long time and when said to a person whether at home or in the workplace can be harmful in many ways.  In the workplace the person will lose confidence; their performance will deteriorate; and somewhere along the way when they are passed by for promotion, they will become angry.  Is it possible that the people who have, in the past, completely lost it, and went on killing sprees at their workplace stemmed from hurtful words from their boss or supervisor?  Often if you look back on the stories, there is obviously more to it than that.  However, in each story there was a conversation that occurred that was part of the downfall of the person that led them to commit acts of violence.  In the home, these types of negative conversations only lead to unhappiness, arguments and resentment.  The old saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is wrong because they are and they do.  There are also the individuals who get drunk and say hideous things and later say, “Well, I had been drinking and I didn’t know what I was saying.” They know.  It has been said that when individuals are under the influence, they say what is really in their hearts and on their minds.  Do you agree?  None of the books in the Good Gus Series contain hurtful words.  The books were written to give children good examples of how people should treat one another.  If hurtful words are destroying your ability to manage the will or trust administration, don’t allow it into your brain.  Rather than feel bad read “Misplaced Trust” at maecharlesbooks.com. (books available on Kindle)

quitquittingarnoldHave you ever been told to just stop something and quit? If a person decides to quit anything, it should be of their own volition. If an individual decides to quit a job, they should always have another one in place. It sounds odd, but in the working society today, if you are not currently employed no one wants to hire you. I thought the point was to land a job because you didn’t have one. I have heard hiring managers actually say that they only want people currently employed. It does make it difficult if a person had to quit for legitimate reasons or became redundant. Often people try to quit smoking, drinking, over eating, swearing, and even gambling. They put forth the effort, but they don’t always succeed. Often if thye have the buddy system, someone who is there to encourage them in their efforts, their success rate increases. In the United States, there are numerous commercials to lose weight. They suggest you buy pre-made meals for one example. Several celebrities have been on the commercials boasting their weight loss through their purchase of ready made meals. The before and after pictures are remarkable.  Dieting in the U.S. must be difficult as there is so much fast food available and if you are sitting on the sofa watching TV, the food commercials occasionally make you want to run out and buy whatever they were advertising. For smoking, there is a nicotine patch, cold turkey, and the electronic cigarette. Do they work? Many adverts say yes. They also have the advertisements with people who smoked and have cancer. They have a device connected to their throat which enables them to speak. Their voice is then transmitted electronically so that they sound similar to a computer.  If you have a bad habit, quitting is never easy.  It takes time, patience and courage.  There are people who persevere and do not believe quitting is the answer to anything.  How many stories have you read about people who started with nothing, possibly moved to another country, and felt if they did not quit they would be successful?  Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He moved to the United States with a duffel bag and became a multi-millionaire and the former governor of California.  One can only assume that the word quit is non existent in his vocabulary.  One time I was in City Center Dublin waiting for my son.  He had gone down the street for a Subway sandwich.  I was standing in front of Eason’s Book Store on O’Connell Street as I had just finished a meeting with my first illustrator for the Good Gus Series.  There were several people around me when a gypsy approached me demanding money.  I ignored her but she just wouldn’t quit.  Finally, I told her no and to leave me alone.  She had tenacity as she kept on me.  Not one person helped me.  Finally, my son reappeared and she started complaining to him that I wouldn’t give her any money.  He told her to walk away and leave me alone.  She did only to return with her boyfriend.  Somehow she thought this would change our minds.  The boyfriend took one look at my son and began dragging her off.  Even in leaving, she was rude, nasty, and wouldn’t quit harassing me and calling me names.  My son handed me his sandwich and put his backpack down and proceeded to follow them.  She finally realized she needed to quit yelling and start running.  There are people that feel that no matter what they are entitled to your money and will not quit until they get it.  This was not one of those times.  In the Good Gus Series, there is a story entitled, “Girls Rule.”  It’s about a horse race around the Pecos River.  The boys in the race practiced one day, and then quit figuring they would win easily.  The girls, on the other hand, practiced every day.  Guess who won?  If you feel like you want to give up and quit trying to manage your finances, don’t.  Check out the Money Manager at maecharlesbooks.com.

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