Guest post: About Maledicus by Charles F. French and a review

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Thank you to Robbie for this wonderful post about my book Maledicus.

Today, I am delighted to welcome author Charles F. French to Roberta Writes with a post about his horror book Maledicus. Maledicus is the first in the The Investigative Paranormal Society series of which the first three books are currently available.

About Maledicus

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Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

This issue is one of the central themes of my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I and is also one of the main issues that has faced humanity in the last one hundred years. From the consequences of millions slain in the Holocaust to one single person murdered on the streets of New York City while many watched and did nothing, humanity has been confronted with this dilemma. When finding evil threatening others, what do we do? Do we ignore it and pretend that it…

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The Art Show – Part 2

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Here is part 2 is the wonderful series on art and music by the extraordinary teacher, Jennie.

A Teacher's Reflections

In Part 1 children were introduced to real artist tools, and also to music played with record albums on a record player.  Music inspires art.  It goes into your ears, then your brain and your heart.  Then it shoots out your fingers like magic to help you paint.

Part 2
We started with fun painting.  Since we’re learning about Italy, we decided to paint with spaghetti.  We dipped cooked pasta into paint and then dropped it from the loft onto paper.  It was messy, fun, and very creative.  Children returned to their painting to add a single spaghetti noodle dipped in black paint as a highlight.

In this way, children learned that an important work of art isn’t created in a day.  Artists return to their painting over and over again until they are satisfied.  From this point forward, all the art children painted was open ended; they could work on…

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Quotations on Bigotry

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“What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.”

Albert Einstein

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

                                                                 Nelson Mandela

 

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“There should be no discrimination against languages people speak, skin color, or religion.”

                                                                         Malala Yousafzai

 

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“Bigotry of all kinds is intolerable, unjustifiable, and immoral. We, as human beings, must always be willing to stand up against any kind of bigotry.”

                                                                       Charles F. French

 

Absence of Evidence by M. C. Tuggle

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Neurodivergence and Mystery

by M. C. Tuggle

One of the themes I keep returning to in my writing is the disconnect between modern norms and human needs. The resulting clash is hard on everyone, but especially so for autistic individuals. Both work and educational norms require people to sit all day, which is pure agony for someone bursting with energy and curiosity, whose natural instinct is to ramble and explore the world around them.

Similarly, a society that’s scrapped traditional codes of behavior is a nightmare for those who seek the comfort of structure and proper protocol, standards that once guided and sheltered individuals in potentially awkward interactions. this has critically eroded social connections. And that’s a tragedy, because the loss of connections impairs individual development.

That’s the driving theme in my novelette “Absence of Evidence“, now in the latest issue of Mystery Weekly Magazine. The protagonist, Treka Dunn, is a former combat nurse who can fix anything from shrapnel wounds to barracks plumbing. Now the chief medical examiner at the Gilead, Missouri, county morgue, she faces budget cuts, a growing backlog, and family pressures. So when her cursory exam of Davis Washburn’s body reveals no evidence of foul play, she’s ready to move on to her next corpse.

But Ron Washburn, the victim’s son, is convinced his father was poisoned. Ron, who is autistic, struggles to convince Treka and Officer Jerry Simms, who investigated Washburn’s death. Treka agrees to run a toxicology test, which reveals–nothing. When she tries to explain her findings to Ron, he mentions a seemingly insignificant detail that Treka can’t explain – and she realizes a murderer is about to get away with the perfect crime.

My primary motivation in researching and writing this story is that I love offbeat characters, a challenging mystery, and juicy technical details. But another thing that inspired this story is my experience with InReach a service agency that provides assistance to folks with learning disabilities. My wife and I support this organization. InReach’s annual luncheons, which give sponsors the opportunity to meet the people their donations aid, have deeply moved us.

So the character Ron Washburn is based in part on the life experiences of several of the InReach clients we’ve met. I can only hope the character I’ve drawn reflects the dignity, sense of purpose, and pride of those clients. Treka Dunn is the protagonist of “Absence of Evidence,” but Ron Washburn is the driving force behind Treka’s quest for justice.

In fact, “Absence of Evidence” reinforces the theme of social and individual integrity in its interplay of characters and plot. The murderer is a sociopath disconnected from human relationships, while the three main characters reflect the unity of a healthy personality — Treka Dunn is the mind, Officer Jerry Simms the body, and Ron Washburn, the spirit. All three are unique individuals who aid and sustain each other. And that’s the kind of people we all aspire to be.

Mystery Weekly Magazine is a Mystery Writers of America approved publisher, and is available in digital and print formats on Amazon.

M. C. Tuggle lives and writes in Charlotte, North Carolina. His fantasy, science fiction, and mystery short stories have appeared in several publications, including Mystery Weekly, Hexagon, and Metaphorosis. He blogs on all things literary at https://mctuggle.com/

I want to thank M. C. Tuggle for his guest post. Please be sure to go to his excellent site!

Badlands~

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Please enjoy these stunning photographs from Cindy Knoke!

The Badlands in Anza Borrego State Park in Southern California formed about 4 million years ago.

The unique topography is primarily sandstone, mudstone and claystone.

This whole area was once an ancient sea, and fossils abound in this arid part of the desert.

“The Badlands may be the best place in North America to view sediments from the Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs.”

The maximum summer temperature recorded here was was 122F .

The hottest I have experienced was 119F.

In the spring, fall and winter though, the Badlands are temperate and comfortable, good for hiking and exploring.

Cheers to you from The Borrego Badlands~

Factual Source: https://www.desertusa.com/anza_borrego/borrego-badlands.html#:~:text=In%20the%20Anza%20Borrego%20Desert,remote%20springs%20and%20mysterious%20concretions.

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Music and The Art Show – Part 1

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Please look at this post on teaching music and art from that excellent teacher, Jennie!

A Teacher's Reflections

The children have been preparing for our annual Art Show, a major exhibit for the whole community.  It’s especially exciting this year, as last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid.

How do you help children to think like Picasso or Van Gogh?  How do you help them to feel creative and inspired?

We start by introducing children to the same tools that real artists use – paints in tubes, good brushes of many sizes, even well-loved palettes that are covered with years of paint.

We show them major pieces of art.  I pan every work of art in these good books – slowly and thoughtfully – to the children.  What I say makes the difference, and I do it with surprise and enthusiasm, as if there is a revelation:

“Connor, you can do this.  See the mountains?  You could paint this.”

“Eddie!  You love blue.  Look at the circles…

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Revisiting Characters From My First Novel, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 by Charles F. French

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This entry is one of several posts I wrote about some of the characters in my first novel. I hope you enjoy it.

Roosevelt Theodore Franklin, the protagonist of my supernatural horror thriller Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, is a retired History professor, living in Bethberg, a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. He is a deeply complex man, influenced by, among other things, his service in the Vietnam War and the profound and loving marriage with his now deceased wife.

Roosevelt has several deep enjoyments in life—eating, drinking good whisky, especially single malt Scotch, and smoking high level cigars, but his primary passion in life is books. A visitor to his home would notice, more than anything else, the enormous number of bookcases lining many of the walls in his house. Roosevelt’s home is an old Victorian home that he and his wife Sarah had purchased and renovated shortly after their marriage.

While she did have a large room dedicated to being her art studio, an avocation she loved, even while being a surgeon, and Roosevelt had a large room that was his studio, smoking room and library, other rooms also were filled with books of many kinds and conditions. Roosevelt, although a man of financial means, is not a book collector. He believes that books should be read and not simply owned to be put on display. He thinks that the words in a piece are what make the book important, not a fine leather cover or being a first edition. He places worth on the ideas, the stories, the tales, the histories, and the communications in books and not their potential monetary value.

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At one point, he tried to make a calculated estimate of how many books he owned, but he decided it was an almost impossible task, so he stopped the tally when he reached 4000. And no matter how many books he owns, he seems to always find more to buy. Again, he is not a snob when it comes to the owning of books. His snobbery emerges when it comes to whiskey and cigars.

More on that later.

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Available on Amazon

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Get The Draft Done! is available here: Amazon.com

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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

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Available on Amazon

French On English

Available on Amazon

 

Geography, From Laura Ingalls’s “Little House” to Maps and Rivers

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Here is another excellent example of teaching from that wonderful teacher, Jennie!

A Teacher's Reflections


My book is “well loved” and completely falling apart.
That shows children how important it is.

I finished reading aloud “Little House in the Big Woods” to my preschoolers, and have started the next book, “Little House on the Prairie.”  We’re only on page 15, yet what has happened in those few pages has become Geography-101, in the best of ways.  The big woods in Wisconsin were something children here in New England can understand- except for panthers.  When the move from the little house in Wisconsin began, everything was packed into a covered wagon, and off they went.

They had to cross the Missouri River.  That’s when the questions and geography started.

The river was frozen, so the horses pulled the wagon across the ice.  Then, after many weeks of traveling, they were on land that had no hills or trees.  It was the prairie.  Wait!  Our beloved picture…

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