My Books, Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 and French On English: A Guide To Writing Better Essays on Display at Muhlenberg College’s Trexler Library

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I was delighted to see that my books, Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 and French on English: A Guide To Writing Better Essays are on view in the Trexler Library at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. This display is dedicated to Faculty authors at the college, and I am honored to be included.

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Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

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Waders~

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Here is another set of beautiful photographs from Cindy Knoke!

California has about 668 species of birds. The Holler, and nearby environs alone, account for approximately 500 of them.

The Holler is ‘for the birds,’ including these amazing oystercatchers, which I rarely see.

Little Blue Herons can be found near the coast, and are seen less often, closer to The Holler.

Majestic Great Blue Herons are common.

They sometimes show up at our front door!

Sandhill Cranes stand over four feet tall and are further afield.

They winter at The Salton Sea.

Snowy Egrets are everywhere. This guy was near the coast.

His green crab lunch was a bit hard to swallow!

Cheers to you from The Holler’s wonderful waders~

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More Reviews of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1

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I am honored to reprint these reviews on Amazon for my novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1:

I love this book! This novel has just the right amount of spooky, suspense, and other thematic values like friendship and love. This novel takes a wonderful turn and leaves readers on their toes. This is must read!!!

 

“Maledicus offers its readers a plot like no other; one that delves into the afterlife, or the unknown realm. What happens to you when you die? Where do you go? Will you see your loved ones again? All these questions are answered in a thrilling way that embodies love, hope, and horror. French has developed a unique, creative plot that is just genius! This novel is absolutely incredible!”

 

“This book has it all: if you enjoy romance, it’s a moving love story. If you’re intrigued by the paranormal, you won’t read anything better than the battle between Maledicus and the IPS (Investigative Paranormal Society). If you just want a good, quick read, well you won’t be able to put this book down!”

 

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

Favorite Christmas Movies, Part I–Revisited

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This is a post that I have used before, but given the season of the holidays, especially at a time when giving as opposed to greed should be happening (although that should always be  the case), I will repost this series. Scrooge1970Film

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There are so many aspects of this holiday season that are wonderful to me: getting together with loved ones, friends and family alike; the spirit of giving that I hope continues to grow; celebrations; the holiday music; and the memories of happy times.  Among the favorite memories I have are a few specific Christmas movies.

The movie I will talk about today is Scrooge with Albert Finney as the star; he does a magnificent job in his performance as the miserly and misanthropic loan-shark. This musical version of A Christmas Carol is one of the finest filmic adaptations of the classic Christmas Eve ghost story and morality tale.  This film follows  the story closely with Scrooge being visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, of Christmas Present, and of Christmas Future. Among the movies best songs are Scrooge singing “I Hate People” which clearly shows his despicable and greedy nature,  “Thank You Very Much” in which a tap dance is done on Scrooge’s coffin in the future, and “I Like Life” in which the ghost of Christmas Present teaches Scrooge about experiencing life as well as having empathy for others.

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This movie does an excellent job of showing Dickens’ critique of a greed based society and one that did little or nothing to help alleviate the enormous difficulties of the poor.  When first confronted by the ghost of his dead partner Marley, Scrooge tells him that he was always a good man of business.  Marley’s ghost responds, “Mankind should be our business.”  This is a sentiment that stands today.  We should be putting the good of humanity above the pursuit of greed.

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I was a teenager when this movie was first released in 1970, and I loved seeing it with two of my closest friends.  We were captivated by the music and the story, and it remains as powerful to me as when I first saw it. If you have never had the opportunity to see this particular film, I give it my highest recommendation.

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I also remind all of us, in paraphrasing the Master Charles Dickens, that we must always remember to make the good of others our business. That matters more than accumulation of wealth.

Promote Yourself Monday – December 10, 2018

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Here is a wonderful opportunity to promote your work!

Go Dog Go Café

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Welcome to Promote Yourself Monday.  All Go Dog Go Cafe readers, guest writers, and baristas are invited to post one link to one specific post (600 words or less please!) from your blog into the comments section below.

If you post a link, be sure to read some of the other great writing people have linked to.

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Quotations on Generosity

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“When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

                                                                        Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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“The wise man does not lay up his own treasures.
The more he gives to others,
the more he has for his own.”

                                                                        Lao Tzu

 

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“Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

                                                                        Dalai Lama

Benefits of Reading: Revisited

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I believe this topic to be important, so I wish to revisit it again.

I have previously written about the happiness of reading, a pleasure I hope everyone, or at least, most people experience. As I wrote before, I consider reading to be one of the main joys of life.  Reading is one of the most essential and, at the same time, the most sublime of pleasures.  Reading can take us places we have never been, tell us stories we have not known, and let us experience the lives of many other people.

In addition to the pleasures of reading, I also want to consider the benefits of reading. I think the first, and perhaps most obvious, value is that of education. Regardless of where the reading is done, or if it is for class or for self, all reading informs the reader in some way. As a Professor of English Literature, I teach many books in my courses at Lehigh University and the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College–and for me, this is one of the most fulfilling parts of my life, to share books and explore them with students.

While there are a myriad of ways to learn in life, reading still stands out as the primary, and most efficient, way of gaining information. (I am not in any way discounting the importance of learning through experience.) Readers can learn about areas of study that exist far outside of their particular areas of understanding or expertise. For example, I am a student of English literature, but I love reading books about quantum mechanics and the extraordinarily esoteric world of String Theory. I do not understand these ideas the way a physicist would, but I can still appreciate the ideas from books aimed at intelligent, non-specialist readers. Such reading allows the book lover to explore an almost unlimited range of ideas.

In addition to education, I think there is a second and equally important value to reading. I have read numerous articles recently about studies suggesting that people, who read, especially fiction, develop more empathy than those who do not read (Chiaet). The overall point of the results of this study, as well as others, is that people who read fiction tend to learn to identify with other human beings and their problems. This is what many of our parents taught to us when they said that we needed to learn to walk in the shoes of other people. It is the basic idea of trying to understand how other people think and feel. Even without these scientific studies, I would assert that fiction helps us to develop empathy.

What do you think about this? Do any of you have other suggestions about the benefits of reading? I would enjoy seeing your ideas.

Works Cited

Chiaet, Julianne. “Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy.” Scientific
American.Com. October 4, 2013. Web.

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