The Hart Home│Religious Freedom is Under Attack in NJ

This Thursday, December 12th, the assembly in NJ will be making a decision concerning religious exemptions in New Jersey for families who do not vaccinate their children due to deeply held religious beliefs but send them to public school. Until now, we have had the freedoms to make the choice to protect our religious beliefs by not vaccinating our children and we were able to send out children to public schools. Schools that we fund with our ever-growing property taxes.

Now, NJ democrats are trying to get this in around the holidays hoping that people will be too distracted to notice that they want 35,000 of NJ families who are currently using a religious exemption (about 2.5% of the population in NJ) to have their children removed from public education.

This disgusts me on so may levels. First, as a public educator, it is my job to ensure that my students receive an education that is free from discrimination. However, this will not be the case for many families who refuse to vaccinate their children. They will be forced to home school, but I am sure, much like California, once this passes they will be moving towards forcing even homeschoolers to vaccinate and submit documentation.

As a catholic woman, this further disgusts me because I live in the United States of America where I have constitutional rights to practice my religion freely. Further, as a catholic I am completely pro-life and I do not believe in the killing of anyone, but in this instance I do not believe it is God’s law that babies are aborted, killed, so that these scientists can get immortal cell lines to grow these vaccines to then inject my son with fragmented DNA from dead children. This violates God’s law in that he shall not murder and it also violates his word that we must keep our blood pure. Vaccines are biologics. You are injecting your children with much more than just a weakened infection.

And as a mother, this disgusts me because it makes big government dictate to me how I am to raise the child that God has given me. It violates my deeply held beliefs and seeks to put me against my God. It is disgusting that NJ government can even entertain the idea that they have any right to do so.

This bill is just the beginning of what they want to do to New Jersey. Up next? A bill that would mandate the HPV vaccine which is killing, paralyzing and sterilizing kids for NINE YEAR OLDS. Why does a 9-year-old need to be vaccinated for a disease that is only spread through sex? There is no logic behind it and I could go on about the deep seeded corruption in government and how their hands are deep in the Big Pharma pockets, but I won’t because this week, that is not at issue.

This week is about how NJ wants to strip me and my son of our constitutional rights to practice our religion freely and to not inject ourselves with DNA from dead babies. By doing so we are complicit to the murder of innocent lives and we are not right with our God. I am praying hard for NJ.

Call to Action:

IF you are just as appalled by all of this, like I am, you need to contact your senator and really, any NJ senator and express your concerns about your religious freedoms. You need to show up at the state house annex in Trenton on Thursday and express your disgust for this totalitarian bill. YOU need to FIGHT for YOUR RIGHTS. You can not be complicit. This is not about being pro or anti, it’s about keeping YOUR RIGHTS to YOUR KIDS.

Book Review│A Death in Paris Mystery: The Books of the Dead by Emilia Bernhard

cover163108-mediumThe Books of the Dead by Emilia Bernhard had it all for me: Paris, death and of course, librarians. My inner nerd girl was squealing when I received the galley for this novel. I think I was so drawn to it because it had an air of Jonny Depp’s The Ninth Gate which I have watched probably too many times to count.

 A Double Murder

American sleuth Rachel Levis stumbles upon the body of an employee of the French national library strangled in the bathroom of a cafe. Having solved a murder, with her best friend Magda, only 18 months before, Rachel reaches out to Capitaine Boussicault for help.

She immediately goes undercover as a librarian to try to figure out which one of the man’s colleagues could have offed him. Almost just as quickly as she is undercover, the drama really begins to come into play: first, a priceless antique book is found mutilated and then, her favorite suspect for the first murder is found dead in the stacks. Boussicault pulls Rachel from the investigation. However, she and Magda are dedicated to solving this mystery and take the investigation into their own hands.

A Cozy Mystery

This is definitely a cozy mystery where the amateur sleuths win over the professionals and become part of an unbelievable investigation. You will have to suspend your sense of realistic cream investigations to thoroughly enjoy the novel, it has all the pieces to it: the international setting, the pair of best friends solving crimes and a slightly absurd reason to murder someone. I am excited to see where this series goes and what other kinds of trouble our two girls will get into next!

Book Information

The Books of the Dead: A Death in Paris Mystery by Emilia Bernhard is scheduled to be released on October 8, 2019, from Crooked Lane Books with ISBN 9781643851570. This review corresponds to an electronic galley supplied by the publisher in exchange for this review. To be linked to special pre-order pricing, click the link at the top of this section.

Book Review│Ted Bundy’s Murderous Mysteries: The Many Victims Of America’s Most Infamous Serial Killer by Kevin Sullivan

bundyI am a true crime junky and when it comes to Ted Bundy, I can read anything about him. I find it crazy how so many women found him to be so trustworthy and charming because when I watch footage of him or even see pictures, I just think how demented he looks. I would have promptly walked in the opposite direction of him had I ever encountered him in life.

That said, Kevin Sullivan has written three other books on Bundy making this volume, the fourth in his series. Sullivan’s Bundy novels include The Bundy Murders, The Trail of Ted Bundy and The Bundy SecretsWhat makes Ted Bundy’s Murderous Mysteries: The Many Victims Of America’s Most Infamous Serial Killer different from the first three books in this series is that Sullivan shares with the world case files and notes that have not previously been released, creating new information even for the most dedicated of Bundy’s researchers.

Detailed Case Notes

Sullivan does not disappoint with his inclusion of copies of copious amounts of case files from investigators that detail Bundy’s relationships, abductions and murders. As they are true files from the case, they are detailed and often bloody, but they give you an honest documentation of the horrors that Ted Bundy inflicted on countless women while he was alive and free.

Along with the case files, Sullivan wonderfull strings together the events and timelines, guiding the reader in putting together the new information presented as well as synthesizing it with previous information from earlier works. That said, this novel is not a light read and I found myself needing to take breaks often just because of how heavy and gruesome much of the material was. What made it even more difficult to stomach was how Sullivan showed you the cases through the victims. He makes you feel as though you are watching the last parts of each woman’s life as they encountered Ted Bundy and met their often gruesome demise.

Sullivan curates the case files and his own commentary with the ease of someone who knows their course material well. This book stands as a way to preserve what is known about Ted Bundy and his victims which as Sullivan himself admits, is important because so much of the material that we once had has already been lost because Utah had no interest in preserving it and what they did have was destroyed once the trail documents hit their nine-year limit. Overall, Sullivan’s completion of his Ted Bundy series does not disappoint and offers much detailed information into Ted Bundy and his many victims.

Book Information

Ted Bundy’s Murderous Mysteries: The Many Victims Of America’s Most Infamous Serial Killer by Kevin Sullivan was released by WildBlue Press on April 19,2019, with ISBN 9781948239141. This review corresponds to an electronic galley that was received from the publisher in exchange for this review.

Book Review│Twisted at the Root by Ellen Hart

twisterThis was my first book to pick up from the Jane Lawless Series. It can be a stand-alone book and I only was slightly confused by relationships and characters going in. It would have been helpful to have read the other books in this series just to understand the returning characters more. However, other than that I enjoyed this cozy murder mystery.

The Murder

Four years ago, everyone assumed that Gideon Wise and Rashad May were happily married. That is until Rashad was arrested for Gideon’s murder. Rashad is inevitably sentenced to prison where he remains for four years until Jane Lawless agrees to help her father reopen the case.

A Cast of Characters

As restauranter and private eye, Jane Lawless delves deeper into Rashad’s case, we are met with a cast of colorful, fun characters that all could possibly be Gideon’s murderer. Ellen Hart does a solid job at keeping us guessing as to who the true killer of Gideon actually is. What is clear is that Rashad May really didn’t have anything that would make him want to kill his husband. Jane is ready to dive deeper into the case when her own brother who has been strangely absent makes a surprise visit home.

A Suprise Visitor

Jane’s brother Peter surprises everyone with not only his visit, but also with a break in the case for Peter is connected to the J.H. Chenoweth Gallery. As Jane has already figured out, the gallery was the only other access that there was to Gideon and Rashad’s home. However, Peter is still carrying a torch for Kit Lipton-Chenoweth, the wife of gallery owner John Henry Chenoweth. He becomes angry with Jane when she questions Kit and it clear that he has held his feelings for Kit for a long time, ever since she was with Eli, Peter’s former dealer, and John Henry’s own son.

Book Information

Twisted at the Root: A Jane Lawless Mystery is scheduled to be released from Minotaur Books an imprint of St. Martin’s Press with ISBN 9781250308429 on August 13, 2019. This review corresponds to an advanced electronic galley that was supplied by the publisher in exchange for this review.

To snag special pre-order pricing follow this link —> https://amzn.to/2Mp1bL4

 

 

Book Review│The Mausoleum by David Mark

david markI was immediately drawn to this book and was really excited when the advanced galley was delivered to my kindle. The novel starts out with an elderly man on his death bed wracked with pain with two women standing over him in 2010. The women, Cordelia Hemlock and Felicity Goose have known each other for many years and have been investigating this unfolding historical mystery since the 1960’s when they first met.

A Chance Meeting in a Graveyard

In 1967, Cordelia is a disgraced academic who has recently arrived in a small town in Scotland called Gisland. She is deep in her grief over the loss of her 2-year-old son. She finds solace in the neighboring graveyard and spends her time among the tombstones, perhaps longing to some connection to her deceased son or to death itself. Felicity comes upon her one day, laying among the graves. The two women strike up a conversation just as a storm blows in bringing heavy rain and severe lightning with it. Felicity offers to let Cordelia come back to her cottage with her since it is closer than where Cordelia is staying. Just as the two are leaving, lightning strikes a nearby mausoleum causing it to break open and reveals a body that is only days old. The two women rush to Felicity’s home where they tell her neighbor Fairfax about it. He then rushes out to see the body and get the constable. Only, he is killed and it is found that the body is gone from the mausoleum. Thus begins a long friendship between Cordelia and Felicity that spans decades as they try to uncover the mystery of the body that they found all those years ago.

A Nazi Gestapo & the French Milice

The Mausoleum became an engrossing historical investigation that plunges the two women into the world of Nazi’s and their supporters. This story takes us back to the horrors of World War II and the pervading evilness that the Gestapo enacted on countless victims that for some, continued on even after the war was over. The French Milice are also part of the torture of this novel. While the Nazis dominated Germany, the Milice were a political group in France during the same time that aided in rounding up and deporting French Jews and their families to the concentration and death camps. Also similar to the Nazis who had Hitler Youths, the French Milice also encouraged youth to participate in their youth program known as the Avant-Garde.

The Mysterious Abel

Fairfax, prior to his untimely death, is a writer who records everything that he can get his hands on. One of the things he has recorded is the testimony of a man who describes his life and the torture he endured under the hands of the Nazi Gestapo and the French Milice. The account is horrendous and the abuse and torture seemed to be neverending. The testimony records the Gestapo’s name as being Abel. Could this Abel be the man that the two women found in the grave? The mystery only expands from here, sending the women deep into history to uncover the truth in the present. If you’re looking for a novel that unravels slowly and plunges you deep into a historical investigation then this is a mystery that you will have to pick up.

Book Information

The Mausoleum by David Mark will be released on June 1, 2019, from Severn House Publishers with ISBN 9780727888723. This review corresponds to an advanced electronic galley that was supplied by the publisher in exchange for this review. To be linked to special pre-order pricing, click the link above!

The Reality that is Under Eye Bags

I was fairly young when OJ Simpson killed his wife. Though, he was found not guilt of that crime, there really is no doubt in my mind that in a jealous rage, he sliced her and her friend up. There was never any other evidence that it wasn’t him and then, when he wrote that book? Yeah, that guy is guilty as they come! I’m glad that karma finally caught up with him and that though, not in jail for murder, he is in jail for 33 years and hopefully when he is up for parole this October, that he is not awarded it.

I have vivid memories of the famous low-speed Bronco chase on TV. Followed by little snippets and bits of his trial, but that was really it. My family wasn’t big sports people either, so I didn’t even know who OJ was until that trial.

When The People v. OJ Simpson came out last year, I really had no interest in watching it. I felt that a show that potentially glorified a murdering, wife-abusing asshole wasn’t worth the time I would lose to watch it. That was, up until a few days ago when at lunch, a teacher friend was telling us all how good this show was and how it really did the case justice.

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I stayed up until 5:30 this morning watching most of the series. It just sucked me in, part because of nostalgia for that time– it was cool to see the cars and the outfits that I remember from when I was young. However, it was also really interesting to re-visit this case as an adult and getting to see all the little pieces that led up to the very infamous, “if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.” I fell asleep, so don’t ruin anything for me beyond episode 6! I plan to go right home after work and finish watching.

That is, after I scrap off the layers of makeup I put on today to you know, NOT look like I had stayed up all night. As you can see, no matter how many layers of foundation and under eye brightener I use, covers up these earned bags. It feel like ever since I turned 30, and even about halfway through my 29th year, there has just been absolutely no way to hide these babies. Is it an age thing? Should I just accept them as a fact and wear them as a badge of honor to the fact that I can still stay up all night and go to work the next day? Not going to lie, I am a little proud that I inadvertently pulled an all-nighter and was able to still get up to teach. I haven;t done that probably since student teaching when I had a 100-page teacher work sample to finish and was still expected to student intern full-time. I got through it, and I got advanced proficient on that stupid work sample that I think is somewhere in the closet of my childhood bedroom still.