More Reviews of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1

I just had to reblog this amazing review of Maledicus, Book 1 of the Investigative Paranormal Society series. This review says it best: If you only read one book this year, make sure it is this one!

charles french words reading and writing

wp-1476386546701-maledicus I wanted to share a few more reviews of my horror novel: Maledicus: The Paranormal Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1.

“If you only read one book this year make sure it’s this one! A marvelous story with captivating characters that drive the plot forward. The evil that lives within these pages threatens the very soul of its victims. In a gripping narrative the protagonists face the ultimate test of fight or flight. I’m eager to read part II of this story.” Heather.

“This book was very interesting. The story reminds me of a Christopher Nolan movie; it is non-linear and the convergence of the stories is a complete mystery. It is part ghost story, but it has an abstract approach to horror, evil, and the afterlife.” Amazon Customer

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author does a great job of making the characters relatable, and there are some…

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THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS

THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS

How Christmas and Paganism are alike!https://www.theodysseyonline.com/the-story-of-yule by Karli Slomka Dec 20, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas is an extremely diverse holiday. While we fail to notice it most of the time, cultural aspects from all around the world come together and merge into the holiday that we know of as Christmas. Of course, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ, the son of God. However, Christmas isn’t as simple as that, especially when gift-giving, reindeer, elves, trees, and snow are thrown into the mix; after all, baby Jesus certainly never saw snow! This raises the question: where do these aspects come from? While there are many different cultures and religions that have inspired the modern-day celebration of Christmas, one religious celebration stands out the most: the pagan celebration of the winter solstice known as Yule.

Out of all winter celebrations that take place during this time of year, one of the least-recognized seems to be Yule, celebrated by both pagans and Wiccans. Historically celebrated by Germanic pagans, Yule is the celebration of the coming light, which will bear itself when spring arrives. Similar to Christmas, Yule marks the time in which the new year begins at the Winter Solstice.

Since these pagan traditions came from primarily Germanic regions, symbols such as snow, reindeer, and evergreen trees came to represent the season. Of course, since Yule is the celebration of the coming of the light, candles were a very prominent symbol to the pagans of the past. To modern pagans, not only candles, but also artificial lights uphold the symbolism of the Horned god.

 

 

 

 

 

Yule, like most other Sabbats, is a massive celebration, celebrated with caroling, wassailing, mistletoe, and gifts, as well as prayers and elaborate rituals performed to honor the coming of the Horned God, one of the primary Wiccan deities. Gift-giving was very prominent in the Roman Holiday Saturnalia, which was adopted by the Germanic pagans, and, finally, adopted by the Christians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, many Christians are horrified at the realization that their holy day is so similar to a pagan holiday. However, it is important to remember that history isn’t always exclusive; cultures have always merged and split over time, and customs have always been adopted and abandoned. This does not mean that Yule is Christian, nor that Christmas is Pagan; it is simply a similarity developed due to cultural exchanges. Some other similarities between Pagan and Christian traditions are Ostara and Easter, as well as Lughnasadh and Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s so easy to alienate those who have different customs than us, but it’s of utmost importance that we remember that, within all of our differences, we can cherish the things that bring us together. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and Blessed Yule.

The Little Match Girl

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At this time of year, I think of The Little Match Girl fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. “It was terribly cold. It had snowed that day and it was almost dark”, begins the story of The Little Match Girl who carried with her a little box of matches to sell, but no passerby had stopped to give her even a penny as she walked along, hoping for someone to buy her matches for a penny, but no one even glanced her way.

The Little Match Girl was so terribly cold and her thin little body ached with the cold. She had no coat or shoes. Her old hand-me-down sweater was soaked through from the snow that had fallen earlier in the day.  She shivered uncontrollably as the snow started falling again. She saw a place between two houses where she could sit down and look across the street.

There she saw warm yellow lights from windows. She thought she could even smell the holiday goose that was headed for the dining table.  She was so weak from the freezing cold and so hungry she could no longer stand again, so she took one of the matches and lit it and she began to feel warm and then she lit another one. She knew she dared not go home, her father would beat her.

She began to dream of her grandmother and lit another match, but this time all the matches came aflame. To her it was like heaven with the sky ablaze and she saw her beloved grandmother as she watched as a star fall from the sky. She remembered what her grandmother told her, when a star falls a soul goes to heaven. “Take me with you Grandmother” she cried, and her grandmother picked her up and flew to heaven with the tiny Match Girl in her arms. The next morning, the little Match Girl was found frozen to death on the street corner where no one had stopped to give her even a penny.

This is more than a fairy tale, it is real because around the world there are many little Match Girls and Boys and they are dying for want of a little kindness from those of us who have shoes, warm coats and Christmas dinner waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the Clock Struck Noon

Jennie, thank you for a wonderful post and to military families, it means more than I can say. 🙂

A Teacher's Reflections

Today I was a small part of honoring those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice.  A wreath was laid at Arlington National Cemetery at noon.  Simultaneously, cemeteries across America participated in the same wreath laying ceremony.  It was humbling.  I was proud to be there.

Thanks to Wreaths Across America, people all over the country could be part of this important event.  There’s something special about small town America.  Seems to me that paying respect in my own back yard has far more meaning.  Close to home and close to heart.  It feels good.

Westford is the next town over and much like my small town of Groton, full of old homes and a pretty landscape.  People smile and greet each other.  Neighbors help neighbors.  The cemetery is close to the center of town.  For a small town it is a big cemetery, and full of the graves…

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No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts: A Review

Dr. French, your review of this novel, “No One Is Coming to Save Us”, is superb. I am looking forward to reading this important work, written by Stephanie Powell Watts. The title alone is compelling.

charles french words reading and writing

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This spring I had the great pleasure of attending a reading and book signing by Stephanie Powell Watts for her newly release novel No One Is Coming to Save Us. I have been remiss in putting this review up, so I will remedy that situation now.

First I want to say that this book is one of the most important American novels of the last 200 years. As a professor of English Literature, I do not say that lightly. This is a book that will, I hope, be read and reread and taught in college classes for many years to come.

It would be easy to say that her novel is a treatment of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, but it is not. Watts treats similar themes as Fitzgerald does, but she focuses not on the lives of the idle wealthy but on those of poor and…

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I’ll Get You My Pretty! NOT – Guest Post, by Julia Flynn #kindness

I just had to reblog this great post! I think many women suffer from self-doubt, even self-hate, as they continually did deep holes to fall in and Julia presented this fact of life, clearly, with humor and substance. Glenda is my favorite Witch! Great post Didi!

Didi Oviatt

I’d like to welcome Julia Flynn to the blog today! I’ve had some very impact-full submissions for guest posts since I opened my doors, and it’s so EXCITING! I couldn’t pass up on this amazing message on kindness by Julia, and I’m thrilled to share it with you all today!

I intend on posting one guest post a week(ish) so please feel free to keep the Submissions a-comin’. 

Julia, it’s a pleasure to have you here today! Your message on kindness is so important and it’s possibly the most creative way to portray it that I’ve ever come across. Keep spreading inspiration and kindness, you’re great at it!

glindaselfcompassion

I’ll Get You My Pretty! NOT.

Grim, that is how the Kindness Challenge’s self-compassion week felt! Self-love week was joyous while unloved and unseen parts bathed themselves in self-love, enjoying the warmth and healing. But self-compassion the sacred act of suffering with the suffering parts…

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Sandy Hook Massacre ~ Five Years Later

Kim, thank you so much for posting this. So inconceivable to believe that after this horrific school shooting, 5 years later, our congress still does nothing to stop the slaughter of children. This year, more 1,000 children died by gun violence.

By Hook Or By Book

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On December 14th, 2012, A gunman entered the Sandy Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and murdered 20 children and six adults, before killing himself. So what’s happened in the US since this horror? According to the Gun Violence Archive—a national database tracking incidents since 2013 in which four or more people (not counting the shooter) were shot generally at the same time and place—there’s been at least 1,576 mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 1,788 people, and wounding 6,333. Just in 2017, there have been 331 mass shooting incidents. 3,094 teenagers (age 12-17)  have been killed and 694 children (age 0-11). I could share even more staggering numbers, but to be honest, I just can’t. Instead, I thought I’d share the following which I stumbled across online. If you are interested in more information, please visit:

http://www.gunviolencearchive.org

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20 children won’t have their first kiss. 20 children will not be…

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