A Wonderful Review of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1

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I want to thank Robbie Cheadle for this wonderful review of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 by Charles F. French. Please take a visit to her site: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/
“Maledicus is the right hand man to Caligula, Emperor of the Roman Empire, and they are equally despicable, inhumane and outright evil. Maledicus has plans, great plans, whereby he will ascend to the top position of Emperor but he underestimates the incumbent, Caligula, and his many eyes and ears. Maledicus never achieves his aspirations and is dispatched to the afterlife in an unpleasant and painful way.

In the non world between Heaven and Hell, Maledicus lurks. He is not reconciled to his unnatural death and believes his chance to aspire to greatness will come. He sets about manipulating events and circumstances to achieve his ultimate goals of greatness.

Meanwhile, time has moved on and in the 21st century, three elderly and retired men, Roosevelt, Sam and Jeremy, have formed a ghost-investigating group, with the occasional help and support from Roosevelt’s nephew, ex-US Marine, Patrick. They have all suffered personal losses and this is a great way for them to keep themselves mental and physically active and to indulge in an interest in ghosts and the supernatural. When their Investigative Paranormal Society (“IPS”) gets its first really legitimate case, they find themselves up against an on-going evil that refuses to die. Can the IPS go up against an ancient and expanding evil and expect anything other than untimely deaths?

I enjoyed the characters of Roosevelt, Sam, Jeremy and Patrick and learning about their individual losses and life experiences, all of which weave together into the fabric of this well planned story.

The idea behind this book is fresh and clever and the ending was superb. I was really impressed by the author’s unique and thrilling ending.”

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Quotations on Music

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“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”

                                                                 Albert Einstein

 

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“If music be the food of love, play on . . .”

                                                                William Shakespeare

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“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.”

                                                                Ludwig van Beethoven

Quotations on Characters

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“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”

                                                                          Ray Bradbury

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“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

                                                                        Ernest Hemingway

 

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“It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.”

                                                                       William Faulkner

Favorite Christmas Movies Revisited: White Christmas

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White Christmas, the 1954 film about two former soldier who turn song and dance men and who help their former commander as he attempts to run a floundering ski resort, has special meaning to me. It stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney and was directed by Michael Curtiz. It features the songs of Irving Berlin.  As a major piece of American film history, that would be enough to be of interest to me, but it has a much more profound connection.

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My parents were both of “the greatest generation,” which is a description with which I agree. They were born and raised during the depression and were part of the multitudes of America who fought and supported World War II. My father was a Marine, and my mother worked in the Signal Corps.  This group of Americans had a toughness that was forged in the fire of great tumult, both national and international.

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 My mother loved this movie, and it was a tradition in our family to watch it when it aired on television, which was, if I remember correctly, every Christmas Eve. If not that night, then it was always on a nearby night. Of course, as a child who was born a while after World War II, it was all ancient history to me then, but for my mother and father, it spoke directly to their lives and to their hopes and dreams.

Both of my parents have been gone for quite a while now, over 20 years–they were married for 48 years and died within 2 years of each other. As I have become older, I have learned to appreciate what my parents did for us, which, I have to admit, when I was young and stupid, I did not. To paraphrase Mark Twain, –it is amazing how smart my parents got as I got older. And I appreciate and try to continue some of the family traditions, including watching White Christmas, but now with my beloved wife.  I still feel the connection to my Mom and Pop when I watch this movie.  This movie speaks to the connection of people, of hope, of joy, of happiness, and of the power of music.

And I wish we would have a white Christmas, but I think it will not happen this year.

Perhaps next year.

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Quotations on Service to Others

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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

                                                                       Mahatma Gandhi

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“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

                                                                        Barack Obama

 

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“Life is for service.”

                                                                        Fred Rogers

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“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

                                                                        John F. Kennedy

French On English: A Guide To Writing Better Essays by Charles F. French–Part of the Lehigh University Celebration of Authors

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I was honored to have been included in a lovely event this week:   Harvest of Ideas: A Celebration of Lehigh Authors reception hosted by the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries.

This was an annual recognition of Lehigh University faculty, including adjunct faculty, who have had works published and placed into the library collection. The event itself occurred in Linderman Library’s  Bayer Galleria, which is a room of stunning beauty. In the photograph, I am standing in front of a fireplace that was once a functional heating system. The wood paneling and bookshelves that fill the large space complete the extraordinary atmosphere of the room.

In addition to a wonderful spread of food and drink, the faculty books were put on prominent display on tables along the main wall of the room. I am honored to have my book on writing essays included.

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I was also delighted that a jazz combo of Lehigh undergrad students performed during the event, and they were excellent! These young adults sounded like they had been performing jazz for many years. I closed my eyes, and I imagined an old, smoke filled room with such musicians playing!

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It is always a wonderful feeling to receive recognition such as was given here, so I offer my thanks to the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries, the staff who prepared everything, and the wonderful librarians! Thanks to all!

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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:

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Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

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Available on Amazon

 

Libraries and Bookstores of the Lehigh Valley, PA: Linderman Library at Lehigh University

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I mentioned a little over a week ago that I was beginning a new series on libraries and bookstores of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, and I am finally making the first entry in that series. My beginning piece will feature the beautiful Linderman Library of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

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Linderman Library is the humanities library, and it is my favorite place on campus. I earned my M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature at Lehigh University, and this extraordinary abode of books is a comforting and inspiring place to work. I have spent many hours doing research and writing in this safe haven for book people.

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Linderman Library has many places to work, including a long reading room, which feels like something out of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter books, many nooks with desks, and one of the best features of the library–the rotunda. Several levels of books fill the outside circle, and a winding metal staircase goes from the first to the third floor.

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One of the most beautiful features that is often missed is the dome that caps the rotunda. It is one of striking beauty,  and made of stained glass. If you have the opportunity to visit Lehigh University, you should go to Linderman Library, visit the rotunda, and look up at the dome!

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I am fortunate to live in an area with so many bookstores and libraries, and I was doubly fortunate to attend a University with a humanities library that is not only filled with thousands of volumes of books and journals, but also it is beautiful. The very nature of its architecture encourages students to study in its comfortable environment.

I will continue this series on libraries and bookstores in the Lehigh Valley, PA soon.