Caddywampus: Murder at Woebegone Dunes Resort

More than a thriller, a gripping high stakes human drama from storytellers, Judy & Erik Martin 

★★★★★ STARS 
"This is an extraordinarily riveting story that captivates and holds your attention. It is a creatively written detective mystery novel, and the suspense never lets up. I breathlessly turned the pages as the discovery process unfolded. Lieutenant Baron Dunning is bold and intelligent, but everything about the investigation is caddywampus—in disarray like a lopsided bicycle wheel. Deputy Sheriff Bud Light speaks as if he is chewing a wad of sticky toffee with loose dentures. Lady Vanessa is a seductive woman that would cause a bishop to spill his red wine and kick a hole in a stained-glass window. Antagonist Bo-Bo Bigelow is the world's largest exporter of stolen oil and rare earth minerals. Father Feely is a corrupt priest. Exposure of the Royal Enouement Society will greatly inspire patent holders and budding entrepreneurs." —Fraser Johnson, President of Psalm Entertainment
★★★★★ STARS 
“Caddywampus is a wildly entertaining and thought-provoking story of mystery and mayhem that is highly captivating. The cast of characters is deep and rich, sexy, and amusing. The story premise and characters, setting, and sequence of events are expository, descriptive, and persuasive. The plot has many twists and turns making it difficult to put the book down. Caddywampus is a well-written murder mystery with an enjoyable writing style and intriguing points of view that will undoubtedly endure.” —Avid Reader, London, UK.

★★★★★ STARS 
“Caddywampus is a mystery spell-binder and cauldron of instability that will keep you awake. It takes an insidious imagination to spin out a mind-blowing adventure with a hair-raising beginning and a heart-stopping end. Victims die in truly awful, messy, accidental ways as they hurtle into oblivion and the gut-wrenching science behind them. Protagonist Lieutenant Baron Dunning faces fiendish situations involving murder, mayhem, religion, and international money laundering. Unique individuals compete for ownership of Woebegone Dunes Resort and a religious hermitage at Gravestone Castle in northeast Wisconsin. The cast of characters is dynamic, intelligent, sexy, and thoroughly entertaining.” —James Johnson, Bibliophile Book Worm. 

★★★★★ STARS 
“This is an extraordinarily riveting story that captivates and holds your attention. It is a creatively written detective mystery novel, and the suspense never lets up. I breathlessly turned the pages as the discovery process unfolded. Lieutenant Baron Dunning is bold and intelligent, but everything about the investigation is caddywampus—in disarray like a lopsided bicycle wheel. Deputy Sheriff Bud Light speaks as if he is chewing a wad of sticky toffee with loose dentures. Lady Vanessa is a seductive woman that would cause a bishop to spill his red wine and kick a hole in a stained-glass window. Antagonist Bo-Bo Bigelow is the world’s largest exporter of stolen oil and rare earth minerals. Father Feely is a corrupt priest. Exposure of the Royal Enouement Society will greatly inspire patent holders and budding entrepreneurs.” —Fraser Johnson, President of Psalm Entertainment


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The Homing Instinct

“The homing instinct for a child separated from its biological mother is like a steady and reliable compass needle that always points north.” Judith Land

“Adoptive parents who have abundant love for the orphaned children they meet in their dreams that they demonstrate unwavering support for, believe in, and show thanks and pride under the umbrella of unconditional love are virtuous.” Judith Land

Maternal separation and a deep sense of loss are adoption’s core issues. Every adopted child experiences a loss of some kind—whether grieving from the separation from their birth family or losing control of what a child experiences in their early life. Understanding this loss and the resulting grief it causes can help adoptive parents be more sympathetic and kind.

Many adoptees experience hurtful feelings of isolation and separation, even in a crowd—a mournful sense of loss and spiritual longing for something intangible that is missing drives them. The absence of a comfortable, happy, loving relationship with the mother produces feelings of profound sadness, sleep-disturbed longing, and bewilderment.

To remedy the situation:

  1. Find happiness by being positive and supportive of others.
  2. Aggressively solve communication challenges, and don’t be afraid to express bothersome feelings to adoptive parents.
  3. Read a good book.
  4. Cultivate a relationship with a kind, elderly neighbor that is intelligent and understanding.
  5. Develop friendships and positive relationships with the potential to be extraordinary that will fulfill you abundantly.

Striving to be a good mother, a good wife, a good sister, and a good listener is often the best way to find solace and comfort, peace, and relief from the emotional pangs of separation. Thankfully, with adulthood comes a greater sense of forgiveness, understanding, reassurance, and ease from the distress and sadness resulting from early separation and adoption.

Judith Land

“A powerful personal story that belongs in the Pantheon of Adoption Classics. I was deeply moved by the heartbreaking narrative of this adoptee, but at the same time, the mystery buff in me breathlessly turned the pages to find out how or if Judy finally finds her truth. As you read this shocking and amazing book, keep reminding yourself: This really happened.” Donna Montalbano 
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Wire Monkey Mothers

“Poets, song-writers, and novelists responding to simple observations, sentiments, feelings, and emotions seem better able to describe the importance of maternal love than scientists, lawyers, and the cold-hearted money changers responsible for the fair and equitable distribution of adopted children.” Judith Land 

“The homing instinct for a child separated from its biological mother is like a compass needle that always points north.” Judith Land

To scientifically investigate the nature of human love and affection, Harry Harlow was one of the first psychologists to demonstrate the importance of early mother and child attachments and emotional bonds on healthy development. Attachment develops due to the mother providing tactile comfort, suggesting that infants have an innate biological need to touch and cling to their mother for emotional comfort and familiarity. 

In the mother’s absence, infants turn to inanimate surrogate mothers for comfort when faced with new and scary situations. Studies concluded that touch and maternal contact are more important than food for healthy psychological development. Infants separated from their biological mother automatically seek comfort in the arms of soft fluffy surrogate mothers, even if the surrogate mother never provides food, proving that infants feel an attachment toward their caregiver, a tactile extension referred to as “love.”

Mother-infant attachment does not depend on the mother providing nourishment as much as it does on providing the comfort of body contact. Infants preferred wire mothers covered with soft materials designed for clinging. Wire effigies of a mother that coldly provided nutrition with a nipple and bottle do not satisfy the innate feeling of love necessary for healthy development. The findings prove the value of mother and child bonding during infancy. Children do not live by milk alone, and social isolation for the first six months of life produces severe deficits in virtually every aspect of social behavior. The innate value of warm hugs and spontaneous snuggles is overwhelmingly positive for the healthy psychological development of adopted children. 

Judith Land

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Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child

Adoption Detective is a multi-genre thriller that resonates with men and women and people of all ages in every culture. Emotional tension is intense and never-ending throughout. Judith Ramano is a sympathetic heroine that is strong, authentic, and irresistible that believes in the wisdom of the heart and the power of sympathy. She is genuine, and she lives a meaningful life. She tugs at our heartstrings, leaving us feeling offended, shocked, and sympathetic as our sensibilities increase in response to complex emotional and psychological influences. This unforgettable life story has elements of a who-done-it mystery novel and a non-fiction biography. It is a romance novel with a central love story focused on family with an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.

“Destiny is not preordained. It is about making choices. Our lives are the sum of all the choices we make, the bridges we cross, and the ones we burn. Our souls cast long shadows over many people, even after we are gone. Fate, luck, and providence are the consequence of our freedom of choice, not the determinants. When justice is served by following our principles, making good decisions brings us inner peace. Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. At this point in my life, I have much to be thankful for and many reasons to celebrate.” Judith Land

Her story is powerfully irresistible and overwhelming to a diverse global audience. There is a universal demand for romantic stories from the heart combined with mysteries treasured by teenagers who enjoy complex page-turners. Adoption Detective stimulates moral sensitivities that increase the reader’s ability to solve ethical conflicts that inspire conviction. The plot follows actual events—a highly compelling adventure story with a happy-ever-after ending.

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Why are “Abandoned Children” called Orphans?

“There are not enough words to describe the devastating heartfelt sense of loss a child feels due to parental separation. Quietude is a state of stillness, calmness, and freedom from disturbance and interruption by others—sometimes silence is the best way to display empathy and better understand a child’s perspective.” Judith Land

 “Adoption is a journey of faith, love, and mercy that changes a child’s life forever. Orphaned children aren’t paint-by-number kits where you get to fill in your favorite colors. They are not exotic creatures to be placed on display or exhibited in any way. Allowing them to imitate chimpanzees having fun in a zoo isn’t the best way to learn social skills. Too often, we teach them to walk and talk and for the rest of their lives to be silent and sit down.” Judith Land 

Usually, we think of sad little children without parents due to war, pestilence, accidents, and natural disasters when we think of orphans. The term orphan has broadened in modern usage to include children willfully “abandoned” by living parents. They consciously choose to be permanently and legally separated from their child, regardless of the potential cruel mental and behavioral consequences, collateral effects, and repercussions to others and society their actions may cause. 

Historically, the conditions in many orphanages were horrific. That is why they have largely been phased out in North America and Europe but continue to operate in other regions internationally. In some countries, owning and running an orphanage is profitable, with foreign donations serving as revenue. Many are unlicensed, with very little government oversight, leaving babies and children subject to abuse, organ harvesting, and illegal adoptions. Children with disabilities, including learning disabilities, are twice as likely to have difficulty. Asia holds the most significant number of orphaned children, at 71 million. India is home to 31 million orphans, while Africa harbors 59 million. More than 25,000 children became orphaned in Indonesia due to Covid-19. Native American tribes have very few orphans compared to other cultures. Children without parents are raised by a grandmother or sent to live with close family members.

Children deprived of the protections and benefits parents provide are left with extreme disadvantages. Losing a mother can be emotionally overwhelming. Separation leaves children feeling perpetually insecure and doubtful in themselves, in relationships, and the world. Still, psychologists agree that an institutional home for orphans is no substitute for a house with loving parents, even if the child is adopted.  

Learning how to survive the brutal world and carving an identity are challenging tasks. Modern adoption and foster practices and child welfare programs have replaced orphanages in most cases. Orphaned children age out of the social welfare network between age 18-21 when they suddenly find themselves on their own, responsible for managing their own money and finding a suitable place to live. Transitioning into the real world is particularly difficult for those with physical handicaps and learning disabilities. Regrettably, many of these vulnerable young teenagers face life alone.  

Judith Land

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Children are Reminders from God that Life Goes On

“The birth of every wispy-haired, chubby-faced, ragamuffin kid is a reminder from God that life goes on. When they take their first breath, it takes yours away. Cherish your babies like a Fabergé egg. Take care to avoid accidentally banging their heads on the coffee table. You are the ultimate role model. If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do matters less. Your children may not listen to what you say, but they are always watching you. Try to leave them a legacy of character and faith that will be valued and treasured till kingdom come.” Judith Land

“Children are like butterflies that whimsically flit around from flower to flower depending on how the wind is blowing. Give them freedom, love, and confidence. Don’t make them grow up too soon.” Judith Land

Raising kids is like walking a little drunk person through Jurassic Park, bumping into things, urinating and vomiting, willingly sharing infectious diseases, and the mother’s age with strangers. Teething babies are like pots of boiling vomit on a hot stove, ready to boil over at any time unexpectedly. Living with them is like a fraternity house, and you got paired up with the worst roommate. Everything broke, everyone was awake, and there was a lot of throwing up. At least you can blame your farts on them.  

They enter your home and for the next 18 years make so much noise you can’t stand it. They use sleep deprivation methods to try to break you running around like rodeo clowns. The most popular dinner party conversations are about poop, not politics. If you could look inside their head, you would discover a giant drool gland. If your kids haven’t seen it on television, they probably won’t like it. Living with children is like being in the kitchen when someone forgets the top to the blender. Boys leave little streaks of dirt, slime stains, marbles, skid marks, and little cars with missing wheels. Girls are just as messy as boys, leaving piles of glitter and confetti, doll clothes, and pick-up sticks. Cleaning the house when they are home is like shoveling the sidewalk during a snow storm. Small children disturb your sleep, and teens make you worry about life. If you don’t like your neighbors, buy their kids a drum. If things are suddenly quiet, they probably left for college. 

You begin to feel like a drug addict when you don’t mind getting crapped on, and big smiles turn into hysterics. Instead of blushing, you invent creative new words for drippy noses, booboos, and body fluids. Try to remember that your youngest child isn’t mad at you; they just haven’t learned to speak yet. When their eyes unexpectedly pop open when you are watching them sleep doesn’t mean you’re supposed to drop to the floor and roll out of the room like a ninja warrior. Watch the chimpanzees in the zoo if you want them to learn how to have fun together. We teach them to walk and talk and then be silent and sit down for the rest of their lives. 

The moral of most children’s stories is a vasectomy. If your baby is perfect, you’re probably the grandparent, not the parent. The first 30 years of raising children are the easiest. Children help you reach old age quicker. Suppose you find yourself continuing the habit of taking naps when the baby has left to make a family of its own. In that case, you’re probably just getting old. 

Judith Land

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Adoption is Paradoxical

“Some adoptees are full of internal tensions that seem irreconcilable. Their lives are paradoxical. They act like comedians on stage, making everyone around them laugh. Still, they are deeply internally conflicted and emotionally troubled.” Judith Land

 “Paradoxes arrest our attention and provoke fresh thoughts and altered ways of thinking. Life is hazardous. Fear slows progress. Proceed with caution. This image of a mountainous road is how many adoptees perceive the world—one wrong step and you’ll be crushed. The way forward is challenging and uncertain. There are huge emotional barriers to overcome. Adoptees have many more things to think about and obstacles to overcome.” Judith Land

Truth is rarely pure and simple. Facts don’t cease to exist because they are ignored or hidden. When the idea of two contrary sets of parents collides in a child’s mind, that’s paradoxical. The lives of many adoptees are contradictory, inconsistent, unpredictable, and confusing, especially when the truth is improbable, ambiguous, and contrary to the facts. Was their birth a paradoxical twist of fate? Sometimes, the truth is illogical and downright strange. What if the child finds out the truth is contradictory to the oral family tradition? 

If you are an adoptee, have you ever wanted to know the identity of your parents and siblings or the reasons why you were adopted? Are there significant others in your family tree that you would like to meet? Are you curious about your medical history? Are there paradoxes in your life that are difficult to explain? Has fate resulted in serendipitous good fortune or catastrophic disasters that are unfortunate? Is there anything ironic about your situation that is interesting or humorous? Has adoption ever caused you to feel irritable, moody, anxious, or depressed? Did you ever feel overwhelmed or unmotivated and lonely and isolated, unable to function or make daily decisions without feeling depleted because you were adopted? 

There are many paradoxes in life, like why is there is so much poverty in such a rich country? Why are some people both charming and rude? Life is paradoxical when you land a teaching job at the same school that expelled you and the fire station where you work accidentally burns down. What if your best friend turns out to be your sister? Adoption is the greatest paradox of all, knowing there are more potential adoptive parents than children available. Paradoxically, parents of adopted children tend to be wealthier and more involved. Yet, adopted children tend to have more behavior and attention problems. The trauma, loss, and possibly other horrific things that happened to them are often long-lasting and deeply troubling. 

Life is messy. It’s a fact of life that merit doesn’t always recognize winners. Anyone that has lost the connection with their biological parents, siblings, culture, and language is naturally and inherently anxious. Strange things are bound to happen, no matter what you do. Still, try to make life enjoyable. Seek virtue and freedom. Display empathy. Ask God to grant you serenity, inner peace, and grace. Make relationships valuable and strive for happiness. Avoid destabilizing paradoxes that run contrary to your conscious expectations.

Judith Land

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Adoption is a Twist of Fate

“Giving a child up for adoption should never be like playing the Wheel of Fortune or the thrill provided by Russian roulette with a delicious cocktail in hand. Choice determines everything. Some parents treat life as a risky crapshoot. The father of mischief and the thrill-seeking mother that cast lots together result in a child of avarice—the sacrificial goat and the scapegoats.” Judith Land

“From the bells and whistles of the slot machines to the dazzling colors and shapes of table games, everything is designed to delight you. Keep the party going with bars and restaurants with live music. If you’re playing online, your excitement grows bigger whenever the number of loyalty points increases. Some gamblers feel happy even when they are losing.” Judith Land

Adoptees abandoned by birth parents to be raised by others seek profound soul-searching answers to the mysteries of life, fate, and destiny. Seeking only truth, they feel bewildered, wondering why their souls seem unbalanced and unsettled. Life is brutal and confusing for adoptees wondering about random events and the circumstances of their birth. Did the critical events leading to birth unfold by chance, good fortune, or bad luck as whimsically as the pulling of a slot machine arm to activate the reels? Was conception a fluke, an accidental twist of fate resulting from random unplanned circumstances? Children’s critical questions about their birth and adoption raise many troubling issues for further consideration, empathy, and deep heartfelt discussion.

Life is difficult for unstable adopted children confused about who they are. Life feels strange and exciting, and yet, unfortunate to them. Intense feelings of anger and confusion leave them feeling emotionally unsettled and unbalanced. Relationships are worrisome and self-contradictory. The world is incomprehensible and incongruent. What is the meaning of life? Who set the path, and how will it end? What role did happenstance, random events, luck, and coincidence play? Did a lucky twist of fate accidentally result in good fortune, or the loss of opportunity, the opposite of what you would have otherwise expected? What were the odds?

Judith Land

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“A New Adoption Classic”

5.0 out of 5 stars 

A book review by Donna Montalbano, Radio Host

Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child belongs in the pantheon of adoption classics. It is a powerful, complex, and unforgettable journey of an adopted child from birth to adulthood. As a member of the “adoption triad” and former radio host of adoption-related programming, I know the devastating dynamics of adoption: beginning with banishment, loss, lies, and betrayals, followed by a lifelong quest for identity. 

The story begins the simple, sweet moment when two teenagers fall in love. A pregnancy results, and when the families find out, a cover-up is concocted to protect the mother and parents from social embarrassment. Because she was a teenaged mother, pregnant and unmarried, she was exiled from her family, friends, and community and forced to give her child to strangers in secrecy and ignominy. Surrendering her child at birth was not a choice. It was non-negotiable. That baby girl, the author of this book, was at first placed with a loving foster family, who were privileged to hear her first words and see her first steps. But when she was only one year old (old enough to suffer the trauma of separation), she was torn away again and adopted by a new family. 

As she grew up, dreams and fantasies of her birth mother haunted her as a child. The most poignant parts of this book are the secret “letters” to her birth mother that begin each chapter, revealing her loneliness and longing. 

Yet this book is also a detective story, as the title suggests. Tracing your roots is not as easy as the TV shows make it seem. The heartbreaking narrative of this adoptee deeply moved me. Still, at the same time, the mystery buff in me breathlessly turned the pages to find out how or if Judith finally found her truth. As you read this shocking and fantastic book, keep reminding yourself: these are true events.

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Four Kinds of Adoption

“There are four kinds of adoption: nefarious, forgivable, warranted, and praiseworthy.” Judith Land

Gyula Benczúr (Nyiregyháza 1844 – Dolány 1920) – My Children, 1881

“DNA has overridden centuries of secretive sealed birth and adoption records intended to withhold the identity of biological parents from public disclosure confidentially.” Judith Land

As the adoption industry migrates to social media, many regretful adoptees and birth mothers confront the world with their pain and anger. Birth mothers express pressure, regret, and lifelong mourning for the children they gave up. Adoptees talk about their sense of estrangement, lack of psychological bonding, and deficiency of medical history.

Nefarious adoptions are highly objectionable and offensive. Strangers of questionable character coercing a mother into giving up her baby violate time-honored laws of nature and social conduct laws. It is a felonious act to separate a mother from her child without her permission and market that child for adoption. If a baby is stolen and sold for profit, the baby-brokering actions of the beneficiaries are criminal. It is corrupt for handlers and go-betweens to knowingly accept payment for a child illegally and cruelly separated from the biological parents. Corruption, child trafficking, and the treatment of adoptable children as a commodity are heartbreaking. Unregulated child redistribution by predatory individuals is a global issue.

Forgivable adoptions occur when the biological parents and close relatives are deceased, incapable, and physically or mentally unable to carry out their duties and responsibilities as parents. Separating a mother and child is traumatic for both. Protecting the ethereal bond between a biological mother and child should be preserved whenever possible. Still, there may be a higher potential for a better quality of life with another set of parents in these cases. Alternative parents exhibiting integrity may provide more positive opportunities and emotional stability for a healthier, moral, and productive life. Close family relatives are often the best choice. 

Warranted adoptions occur when the parents are unready, incompetent, and incapable of raising a child independently. Rehabilitation, food stamps, child care subsidies, and assistance from close family members should be encouraged as short-term solutions to give unsteady, indigent mothers more time to reverse a decision to give up their child. Delaying the decision allows more time before a child is legally separated and offered to strangers. If this process is unregulated, great harm may befall the child. Warranted adoptions should only take place after vigorously exhausting all other possibilities.

Praiseworthy adoptions result from desperate situations when children are in immediate peril and need of assistance. Parents are deceased or truly incapable, often resulting from disastrous events, pandemics, war, pestilence, accidents, and natural disasters. Praiseworthy adoptions occur when virtuous parents with a habit of goodness exhibit a true sense of compassion, righteousness, and a genuine love of children. With heartfelt emotions, they comprehend the deep sense of loss the adopted child endures. They strive to perform good acts and give their best because the situation is morally justifiable. The parents most influence a child’s learning and socialization. Adoptive parents are praiseworthy when they provide encouragement, support, and access to activities that enable children to master essential developmental tasks. Happy parents raise happy children. 

Unfortunately, phycologists paint a dire picture of orphanages. 90% of children living in orphanages worldwide have at least one living parent that has willingly placed their child in the administrative incarcerated care of the ward state. Being adopted into a traditional family is almost always preferable to institutional care provided by orphanages.

Judith Land

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