J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

Last Week to Cast Your Vote!

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I need your help! My novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, is still in the running for best historical fiction on Bookbzz.com. This is a great honor, but to secure my win, I need you to please cast a vote for my book if you haven’t already.

Here’s all you have to do:

1. Click on this link: http://bookbzz.com/bee-bookbzz-com-prize-writer/

2. Scroll to Historical Fiction

3. Click on A Beautiful Glittering Lie

And vote! It’s that easy. The voting ends on February 28, so please cast your vote now! Thanks again so much for all your support.

(The book centers around the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment during the onset of the Civil War. A father enlists with the Confederate army, while his son comes of age and must ultimately decide if he will defend his family’s honor or “jine up” himself. This is the first book in the “Renegade Series,” and is the winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award.)

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Only Three Days Left to Enter!

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It’s getting down to the wire! Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Now is your chance to enter my book giveaway. All you have to do is answer the following questions and email them to me at jdrhawkins@gmail.com. The contest runs through February 21, after which I will announce the two winners on my blog. Good luck!

Describe your perfect Civil War soul mate:

  1. What is their name?
  2. Where are they from?
  3. What is their occupation?
  4. What is their age/gender?
  5. What are some of your soul mate’s personality traits?
  6. Please specify if you would like a PDF copy of A Beautiful Glittering Lie or A Beckoning Hellfire.

Thanks for participating! I can’t wait to read what you send me. Stay tuned – winners will be announced on February 22!

Romance and the Civil War

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Welcome to the Indie Love Blog Hop! As part of this blog tour, I have been asked to highlight an indie author, so I chose myself! Therefore, I have included a synopsis of my two printed novels and a short, romantic interlude from each book. Please read to the end to find out how you can win a book!

First up, a synopsis and excerpt from A Beautiful Glittering Lie:

Synopsis:

In the spring of 1861, a country once united is fractured by war. Half of America chooses to fight for the Confederate cause; the other, for unification. In north Alabama, the majority favors remaining in the Union, but when the state secedes, many come to her defense. Such is the case with Hiram Summers, a farmer and father of three. He decides to enlist, and his son, David, also desires to go, but is instead obligated to stay behind.

Hiram travels to Virginia with the Fourth Alabama Infantry Regiment. Although he doesn’t intentionally seek out adventure, he is quickly and inevitably thrust into combat. In the meantime, David searches for adventure at home by traipsing to Huntsville with his best friend, Jake Kimball, to scrutinize invading Yankees. Their escapade turns sour when they discover the true meaning of war, and after two years of service, Hiram sees enough tragedy to last a lifetime.

A Beautiful Glittering Lie addresses the naivety of a young country torn by irreparable conflict, a father who feels he must defend his home, and a young man who longs for adventure, regardless of the perilous cost.

Excerpt:

Unintentionally, he fell asleep. He awoke to find his room dark. Quickly rising, he went outside to feed the animals, but was informed by Rena that his chores had already been done, so he ambled back to his room, lit the oil lamp, and picked up his guitar. He sat upon his bed, gently strumming it. Already, he had managed to figure out five different chords, and could play his favorite, which was the “Bonnie Blue Flag.” For some reason, that song made him proud to be a Southerner, and for believing in the cause that his father was about to defend, even though the concept was rather vague to him. He knew a few other melodies, too: “Old Zip Coon,” “Aura Lea,” “Old Dan Tucker,” and his favorite, “Cindy.” When he had gone through his repertoire a few times, long enough for his fingertips to start hurting, he put the instrument back in the corner.

Deciding to go outside, he stepped onto the breezeway. Voices were speaking from just beyond the corner, so he moved up close enough to see around it. His mother and father were sitting side by side, their silhouettes illuminated by the pale moonlight.

“Now don’t forget to write to me every chance you git,” she was saying.

He snickered. “I won’t forget, honey.”

“And I expect you to attend services every Sunday.”

“I will.”

“I’ll send you packages every week.”

“That’ll be jist fine.”

They sat in the dark momentarily as the faint hoot of an owl punctuated the silence.

“I don’t want you to go,” she finally said, “even though I know it’s your duty to uphold.”

“Now, Caroline, darlin’, you know I’ll be fine.”

“Yes, I do. But I’ll still fret about you.”

He softly chuckled. “There’s no need for you to worry your purty lil head.”

She took his hand. “I’ll miss you, my dear,” she tenderly whispered.

There was another extended silence, and then Hiram responded in a low, passionate voice, “I’ll miss you, too. You know that, Caroline. My heart belongs to you, and it always will.”

David stepped back into the shadows to the sanctuary of his room. He quietly closed the door behind him. For some reason, he felt consumed with gloom, but pushed the feeling aside. His father was leaving in the morning for excitement, honor, and glory. He forced his heartache to turn into anticipation.

And now, a synopsis and excerpt from A Beckoning Hellfire:

Synopsis:

During the bloody American Civil War, the stark reality of death leads one young man on a course of revenge that takes him from his quiet farm in northern Alabama to the horrific battlefields of Virginia and Pennsylvania.

On Christmas Eve 1862, David Summers hears the dreaded news: his father has perished at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Reeling with grief and thoughts of vengeance, David enlists and sets off for Richmond to join the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

But once in the cavalry, David’s life changes drastically, and his dream of glamorous chivalry becomes nothing but a cold, cruel existence of pain and suffering. He is hurled into one battle after another, and his desire for revenge wanes when he experiences first-hand the catastrophes of war.

A haunting look at the human side of one of America’s most tragic conflicts, A Beckoning Hellfire speaks to the delusion of war’s idealism.

Excerpt:

“Oh, Jake, darlin’,” Calle crooned, turning her face to his, “please go in and fetch me my shawl.”

Jake mooned over her. “Of course, Callie,” he said.

His countenance was that of pure adoration, dripping with too much sweetness for David’s taste. He watched Jake’s performance with one eyebrow cocked, and for a moment, looked away so that they wouldn’t see him frown. It was obvious that Jake wouldn’t be enlisting with him after all.

“Oh, and I believe your mother wishes to speak with you,” Callie added over her shoulder as Jake opened the screen door and went inside. She turned back to face David. “I would like to have a word with you privately,” she informed him.

“Yes, miss,” he responded.

A strange, awkward pause ensued. She moved closer to him. He could feel his face flushing.

“Do you remember last summer, when we were at the fishin’ hole with Jake and your two sisters?” she turned her head slightly to look at him out of the corner of her eye.

He nodded. This was making him uncomfortable. Callie reached out and grabbed hold of his hand. He felt like she was cornering him.

“Do you recollect what happened after they all left, and it was jist you and me remainin’?”

“Yeah.”

Regardless of how badly he didn’t want to remember, he couldn’t help but think back to the event. Jake had volunteered to escort Rena and Josie home. David made fun of the way Callie’s hair looked, she splashed him, he splashed her back, and then she swam right up to him, clasped onto his head with her hands, and planted a big wet kiss straight on his mouth. He recalled how shocked he was, completely taken aback, this coming from the girl who was supposed to be Jake’s. He remembered protesting, telling her that he had to leave, that Jake loved her, and that Jake was the one she should be doing that to. But to his surprise, she laughed, amused by his bewildered embarrassment. She informed him that, if anything were to ever happen to Jake, he would be her next choice. Reliving the moment in his mind made him feel even more awkward now. He looked down at his feet.

“David, I want you to know that I love the both of you,” she said. She reached out and pulled his chin up, forcing him to look at her. “And you know that I intend to marry Jake. But if he decides to go off to war, and somethin’ should happen to him …”

“Callie Mae Copeland,” he interrupted, “don’t you be thinkin’ that way.”

Callie looked deeply into his eyes. David blinked. She drew closer.

“If anything should happen, promise me you will return to take his place.”

“I don’t reckon he’s fixin’ to go.”

“He ain’t made up his mind yet.” Her penetrating stare bore into him. “Promise me you’ll come back to claim me as your bride.”

He felt his resolve melting. “All right, I promise,” he reluctantly agreed, knowing that it was the only way to escape the confrontation.

As part of this blog hop, I am sponsoring a book giveaway. What I ask is that you answer the following questions and email them to me at jdrhawkins@gmail.com. The contest runs through February 21, after which I will announce the two winners on my blog. Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

  1. Describe your perfect Civil War soul mate:
  1. What is their name?
  2. Where are they from?
  3. What is their occupation?
  4. What is their age/gender?
  5. What are some of your soul mate’s personality traits?
  6. Please specify if you would like a copy of A Beautiful Glittering Lie or A Beckoning Hellfire.

Thanks for participating! I can’t wait to read what you send me. Stay tuned – winners will be announced on February 22!

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Book Giveaway and Vote

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I need your vote! My Civil War novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, is in now in third place for the historical fiction category on bookbzz.com. Please go to
http://bookbzz.com/bee-bookbzz-com-prize-writer/
Click on historical fiction, scroll down, select my book, and I will be eternally grateful!

Also, I will be holding a book giveaway this month, so check my blog on Saturday for details! My blog will be included in a special tour featuring Indie (independently published) books. Just a hint: the contest has to do with Valentine’s Day, and it will be tons of fun! While you’re here, please follow my blog! The giveaway is just the icing on the cake, so stay tuned. More to come on Saturday!

Please Vote For My Books

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Cover Art   9780595908561

Strange but true – two of my novels, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire, have been chosen as contestants for best historical fiction on Bookbzz.com. This is a great honor, but to secure my win, I need everyone reading this to please cast a vote for one or both of my books.

Here’s all you have to do:

1. Click on this link: http://bookbzz.com/bee-bookbzz-com-prize-writer/

2. Scroll to Historical Fiction

3. Click on my titles – either A Beautiful Glittering Lie and/or A Beckoning Hellfire

And vote! It’s that easy. The voting goes until the end of the month, so cast your vote now! Thanks again for all your support!

An Ineffective Meeting

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On this date in 1865, Union and Confederate officials met to discuss an end to the Civil War. By now, the war had been raging for nearly four years, and the country was tired and heartbroken. Nevertheless, Union officials knew they had an advantage, and an agreement could not be reached.

General W.T. Sherman’s Union army continued their devastating march through the Carolinas in full force, following a successful campaign through Georgia as they chased down General Joseph E. Johnston’s troops. Sherman’s main target was South Carolina, since it was the first state to secede. He would later capture Columbia on February 17, 1865.

Two days after the meeting between Union and Confederate officials took place, another battle broke out – this time at Hatcher’s Run (Armstrong’s Mill), Virginia. The battle would claim over 1,000 men (mostly Confederates).

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