J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “September, 2015”

New Book Tour

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Today I’d like to feature a new book giveaway by author Sarah Elle Emm through b00k r3vi3w Tours. Sarah is promoting her four-book series, Harmony Run. The books are on sale on Kindle for only $1.99, so stock up now!

Giveaway:

  • 1 Winner will get a $10 Amazon GC
  • 1 Winner will get Signed Copies of all the 4 Books in the Harmony Run Series
  • 3 Winners will get One Signed Copy of a book of their choice from the Harmony Run Series

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About the Books

Rare glimpses of birds are the only reminder of the freedoms Rain Hawkins once had. Now segregated into a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, under tyrannical rule of President Nicks, Rain is forced to endure the bleak conditions set upon her. The possibility of a way out arises when Rain discovers an organized resistance called The Freedom Front, and learns that she, along with many other multi-racial people, has special abilities. Determined to overcome her situation, Rain sets out on a mission with the resistance that will fill her life with wonder, romance, and the undying hope for a better world.

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 Excerpt from Nacreous, Harmony Run Series, Book four…

For the rest of the walk I tried not to let fear creep over me, but the more I thought about Nata coming, the harder it was. Still, Takara had said we’d be okay. Help was on the way. I just had to believe.

We were led down a series of hallways and through somewhat familiar doors until finally we were pushed into a fairly large interrogation room. I recognized the set-up from my last trip here. But this room was larger. There were chairs lined up in a long row, twice as many chairs as there were people and a bright solar light illuminated the chairs in an otherwise dark, concrete room. My eyes instinctively searched the ground, checking for holes or iron bars like the last room I’d been questioned in. Either there weren’t any holes to lock people in here or I couldn’t find them. Part of me knew they’d be located in the dark corners, away from the light and though it should have made me more afraid, the hole was beginning to concern me less as I thought about the impending arrival of Nata.

Hands pushed me forward, and I was shoved into a metal chair. Glancing in either direction, I noticed that Marcello was right next to me on one side, and the crazy man was right beside him on the other side. But there were still six more empty chairs to my right.

Before I could wonder about the empty chairs any longer, the door opened and tension filled me anew. Was it Nata? She was here?

Surprise and relief replaced my tension as a tall man with light brown hair, Officer Eric Collins, our secret ally from the Elizabeth Guard, spared me a quick glance as he entered the room. Maybe Takara had sent him here. I closed my eyes. “Marcello, maybe Eric is our help. He’ll help us get out of here,” I said excitedly.

I’m not sure about that,” Marcello replied.

I opened my eyes and glanced towards Marcello, noting his alarmed expression. I snapped my head back to the door, expecting to see Nata. Why else would Marcello’s eyes have seemed so fearful?

But as my eyes settled on the doorway it wasn’t our evil dictator who was entering the room. It was a group of more prisoners, six to be exact, staggering into the room with another Droid Dog behind them. Their mouths weren’t covered with tape like our own, but their hands were cuffed.

The second prisoner in line stopped dead in her tracks as our eyes met. A drumming sound filled my ears. No. This couldn’t be happening. It wasn’t Nata, but it was worse.

The Authority had arrested my mom.

*Excerpt compliments of Winter Goose Publishing*

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog tour. If you read any of the books, I’d be flattered if you left a review and connected with my page on Facebook, where I’ll keep you updated on future books. J  ~Sarah

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New Podcast

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I had the honor of being invited to a national radio interview last weekend. The name of the show is Ron’s Amazing Stories, and Mr. Ronald Hood was a great host. Here is the link:

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It was a lot of fun talking about the Civil War, my two novels, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, or the UDC. Thanks again, Ron, for inviting me to your show!

http://ronsamazingstories.libsyn.com/ras-216-grey-is-the-rose

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As many of you know, I am part of the b00k r3vi3w blog tours. Today I am featuring the new book by author Simi K. Rao. Here is some information about the book, as well as some amazing photos of India. Enjoy!

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 ‘Behind the scenes at an Indian Wedding’

Indians in general are deeply rooted in tradition. Our culture gives us our identity. Most of us (especially those living away from the homeland) cling to it, even though several aspects in these particularly modern times, make no sense at all. Why do we do so? Perhaps because it brings us together as a community and provides us comfort in a foreign environment. The same I think applies to immigrants from all over the globe.

Marriages in India, in particular Hindu marriages are long drawn intricate affairs fraught with age old tradition. Little has changed over the centuries except for certain embellishments due to modernization. To non-Indians these ceremonies appear just that—elaborate colorful rituals flavored with plenty of pomp and show.

In the following story I take my readers on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour at a traditional Indian wedding. I’ve tried to illustrate the proceedings from engagement to the wedding ceremony with “generalized” Indians—my characters, and have also made an attempt to expound on the emotional upheavals that occur in the background and often aren’t spoken out loud. Milan is more of a ‘short story’ concept where it shows the before/during and after of an event than it is a ‘long novel’ about characters with hopes and dreams and goals. And its purpose is exactly that, to show the emotions Indian couples go through during the process of a wedding. This story may help the reader get a better insight into the culture of marriage in India.

The Setting of MILAN:

Whenever I travel back to my homeland, I prepare for a culture shock. The crowds, the noise, the pollution have all increased several fold as the country races forward at breakneck speed to catch up with the rest of the world. There are very places left where it still seems like life goes on as it did a few decades ago, where people are laid back and nature is not at war with mankind.

MILAN is set in one such place; Coonoor— a hill town located in the Nilgiri Hills, about 56 kms from the Coimbatore Airport, in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is part way from its more well-known cousin Ooty. I spent some time there during my last trip and was so enchanted that I chose to use it as a setting for my story. Known for its tea plantations, Coonoor is a lovely, rustic little town. With its abundance of greenery and quaint architecture it is a throwback to India as it used to be. The temperate climate and serene environment help the restless soul to relax and take a few breaths of peace. When you are there, don’t forget to take a ride on the Nilgiris meter gauge train, as well as a personalized tour of the tea estates.

I want to thank Debdatta for giving me this opportunity to express myself and for hosting this blog tour. I also want to thank all the bloggers who are participating in this tour and have made space for my book on their blog. Your time and generosity is much appreciated.

Please visit my website http://simikrao.com/ for more info on me and my work. You can also connect with me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/simikrao and twitter https://twitter.com/simikrao

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Say It Isn’t So!

I wish this wasn’t true. Last week, an anonymous donor offered to pay the city of New Orleans $125,000 to remove four Confederate monuments, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s top aide. This seems like the most loathsome and disrespectful act someone could make as a political statement. I guess that’s why the donor is remaining nameless.

A one-page report from the mayor’s chief administrative officer, Andy Kopplin, was sent to the City Council last week. Several similar letters were sent from other city department heads as well, and all the reports recommended that the City Council should vote to remove the monuments.

“It is true that these landmarks have served for decades as geographic compass points on the city’s grid, but how can this geographic compass compare to a great city’s moral compass?” Kopplin wrote in his letter.

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The four monuments in question are the Robert E. Lee statue in Circle on St. Charles Avenue, the Jefferson Davis monument on Jefferson Davis Parkway (they’ll probably change the name of the street later on), the P.G.T. Beauregard statue at the entrance to City Park, and the monument to the battle of Liberty Place on Iberville Street.  The Liberty Place monument was originally placed on Canal Street. In 1993, an ordinance was drawn up to have this monument removed, and this is the final step in the process. The monument signifies an uprising by the White League against Louisiana’s Reconstruction-era government in 1874, when 34 people were killed.

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Beginning earlier this summer, Mayor Landrieu made several public calls to remove the monuments, leaping on the momentum of the recent politically correct bandwagon, so the findings by various city departments comes as no surprise. The City Council has not scheduled a vote.

What’s next? I wouldn’t be surprised if these racists target Confederate soldiers’ graves and start digging them up. Removing these four monuments would take away part of New Orleans’s rich history, and that would truly be a shame.

“Black Lives Matter” Interfering With National UDC Convention

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I was recently alerted to a dismaying situation that I find daunting, to say the least. Apparently, the group Black Lives Matter has threatened the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s annual convention. I am a proud member of the UDC, and I find it a national calamity that violence and intimidation of this nature is being tolerated. To single out any group and attack them is unacceptable. Because they are targeting the UDC, it only shows their ignorance toward the organization and what it has done for this country, particularly the South. Not only does the UDC honor our current veterans, but we show honor toward those who fought for the South during the Civil War. To attack this organization is insane, and it’s extremely sad that this is being allowed to happen.

According to the UDC’s website, “the UDC was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on July 18, 1919. As stated in the Articles of Incorporation, the Objectives of the society are Historical, Benevolent, Educational, Memorial and Patriotic.”

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Below is a letter written by my friend, Mark Vogl:

For the first time in my life, I am now experiencing what so many human beings, in so many third world nations experience.
 
The United Daughters of the Confederacy annual convention in Louisiana is being targeted by a violent, out of control group which has caused the host hotel to block all vendors from selling items at the convention.  Therefore, I was called today by the president of the La. UDC and told that I could not be a vendor…at an event planned for more six months… product ordered a year ago, made overseas, shipped into the US …not allowed to be sold because of the threats of violence and vandalism at the host hotel!
 
The women are experiencing threats of violence.
 
Business interests now must fold to the threat of violence. 
 
Investments, travel plans, etc.
 
The police in Baton Rouge appear unable to provide security for the event.
 
This is the result of the Obama Presidency, the Supreme Court, and the McConnell – Boehner leadership in Congress.  America…petrified.
 
Where is the FBI?  Where is Homeland Defense when this kind of domestic terrorism occurs?
 
Folks, if you think this is limited to Southern heritage organizations you are forgetting 1968, and you are forgetting Ferguson and every other race based riot.
 
It would appear that President Barack Obama has either lost control of “community” or is encouraging a state violence in order to declare martial law… something America has never done, not even during the Civil War!
 
Thank you to all those in public office, or have been in public office who have allowed this situation in the United States of America.  This is the result of rejecting Christ, rejecting American heritage and culture, and the election of race oriented, anti-American socialist into the White House.  If you say that is not true, please show me President Obama’s reaction to the ongoing violence in this nation?!  Please show me his Executive Orders directing the FBI and other agencies to crack down on Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panthers and other Hate groups!
 
Remember the Jews in Germany?  That’s how I as a Southerner feel now..but there is one difference…and I will use it to defend my life, my home, my family and my faith.  And I stand ready to follow that leader who will react to this direct attack on the American Way.
 
God Bless the South, and I pray for His Protection and Providence.
 
Mark Vogl
As you can tell, Mark is very upset about this. Let me know what you think we can do to end this type of unnecessary intimidation and threats of violence.

Homestead Day Harvest Festival

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The Blue and the Gray united once again at the annual Homestead Day Harvest Festival, which was held last Saturday at the Beaver Creek Nature Area near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Union and Confederate soldiers were on hand to demonstrate living history, reenact camp life, and teach new recruits the art of handling rifles.

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The event is held every year and attracts thousands. Besides Civil War reenactors, gunslingers were there to show spectators how to effectively draw a pistol in a gunfight. There were also displays of pioneer life, including candle making, chair caning, blacksmithing, butter churning, panning for gold, wagon rides, wood carving, rope making, spinning, weaving, shucking corn, and hoeing a field with the use of horse-drawn plows. Music was provided by SD Old Time Fiddlers. There was even a snake oil salesman!

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Little Rebels and Yankees had fun aiming and firing their weapons, and the soldiers had fun teasing them by firing black powder and making the kids jump! Although not many reenactors were there, it was still a fun-filled, educational event.

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(Greg Olsen, Union, and Kevin Gansz, Confederate)

The Destruction of History

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It has been brought to my attention that a group in Montgomery, Alabama, calling itself the Southern Poverty Law Center, is in the process of mapping out all Confederate monuments and statues in the United States. Their intention, I’ve been told, is to eradicate these markers and monuments, and thus do away with any reminders of the Confederacy. The S.P.L.C. is not a government agency, and therefore, does not have any legal right to do what they are doing.

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I find it alarming that such behavior is being allowed. Talk about discrimination! If they were targeting any other group in America, I’m sure everyone would be up in arms. But since they are attacking Confederate monuments, suddenly everyone thinks that those monuments and statues are “racist.” This is purely ignorant, to say the least. Confederate veterans were declared American war veterans, and a law was passed to establish this in 1958. Desecrating their graves and markers is a federal offense, and should be dealt with accordingly.

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Hate groups such as the S.P.L.C. and the N.A.A.C.P. are trying to take away Southern heritage, and to me, that’s just plain wrong. They claim that the Confederate battle flag is racist, but that is merely an excuse to accomplish their hidden agenda, which is to take away heritage reminders. By doing this, history can be erased and new symbolism can be put in its place. There has been more racial unrest in the past year and a half than there has been in fifty years since the 1960’s. It’s shameful that our illustrious president has nothing to say on the matter. It’s almost as if he wants to stir up social unrest by remaining silent. The groups that are crying racism need to take a serious look in the mirror. They are the biggest bigots.

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The South has every right to retain its own rich, unique, and diverse history. Our politicians need to stop backing down and start standing up for these rights. One person eloquently referred to it this way, and I agree. What’s taking place in America is a modern day witch hunt.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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It seems that the state of Mississippi is getting an enormous amount of pressure to change the state flag from people who are not Mississippians. Even though a few celebrities (past and present Mississippians) recently jumped on the PC bandwagon and signed a petition to have the state flag changed, now some politicians are getting into the act as well.

Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, who is from South Carolina and is black, predicts that Mississippi will remove the Confederate battle flag from its emblem. “There’s nothing historical about that (Confederate) flag but defiance,” he said. “I really believe that the state of Mississippi is going to change its flag.”

Clyburn and members of the Congressional Black Caucus plan to discuss the flag issue at their annual conference in Washington D.C. on September 16. They also intend to push the issue of having Mississippi’s state flag removed from the House side of the U.S. Capitol. It seems like they are going out of their way to force Mississippi to change the flag, even though state residents don’t want this. What’s next, Mr. Clyburn? Texas’ flag looks like the Stars and Bars. Are you going after that one next? What about Alabama’s state flag? It looks very similar to the Confederate battle flag. Will that be your next target?

The controversy surrounding the flag comes from the fact that the state flag includes the Confederate battle flag as part of its design. It is the only Southern state left to feature the Confederate battle flag, and so it has recently come under attack. Mississippians have overwhelmingly voted to keep the flag, and Governor Bryant has stated that he will not hold a special session to discuss the matter. He has not responded to groups such as South Forward, who insists on moving forward, even though they keep dredging up the past. The governor has remained silent on the fact that political pressure is mounting.

The flag has already been removed from the courthouse in Orange County, California, where all other state flags of the U.S. are on display. Representative Bennie Thompson, D-Miss, and Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have proposed resolutions removing any items from the U.S. House that feature the Confederate battle flag, including the Mississippi state flag.

“You’ve got to understand Mississippi,” said Clyburn. “There’s a victim mentality. The more Mississippi is singled out and ridiculed nationally, as it is, the more you get a lot of white Mississippians who get their dander up.”

If that isn’t a racist statement, Mr. Clyburn, I don’t know what is. The flag represents heritage to most Mississippians, regardless of their color, and they are proud of it. This forced issue is reminiscent of Marxism. Whatever happened to freedom of expression and free speech?

Tomorrow is Flag Rally Day!

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Two flag rallies in support of the Confederate battle flag are slated to take place this Saturday, September 5. One will be held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. H.K. Edgerton will be on hand to speak before the event goes mobile. (He is pictured below.)

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Scott D. Hall, Camp 87 Commander, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Sevierville, Tennessee, said, “We sold about 115 battle flags in about 1 and a half hours before the Campbell County Rally.  With the latest shipments, we still have an inventory of about 220 Battle Flags for sale. They are a hot item and we could sell them all if we set-up a roadside stand.”

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Another significant rally will be held in Washington D.C. this Saturday. Thousands are expected to show their support for the Confederate battle flag. It should be a fascinating, historic event. I don’t know if President Obama will be there to witness it, however. As of this writing, he is hiking around in Alaska.

The Fight for Heritage Continues

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Last week, the Sons of Confederate Veterans won a major victory in Memphis, Tennessee, after a judge decided that they had the right to sue the city for changing the names of three parks. Forrest Park, named after Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, was the primary subject of the suit, because the SCV had placed a large sign at the edge of the park designating it as “Forrest Park.” The city removed the sign without notice, and changed the name of the park to Health Sciences Park. They also did away with Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park, renaming them as well.

The ruling is a tremendous victory for Constitutional rights. To remove all things “Confederate” is a criminal offense and should not be taken lightly. Confederate veterans were designated as American veterans way back in 1906, when a Congressional Act was passed as a move toward reconciliation. To destroy or mutilate any veteran’s grave or marker is a Federal offense and should be treated accordingly.

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This goes hand in hand with trying to do away with the Confederate battle flag – the flag for which these veterans so gallantly fought. It is disrespectful to omit the flag from public view because it is misconceived by a few. This has happened at Washington and Lee University. In the chapel where General Robert E. Lee is interred, Confederate flags have been removed. The Confederate battle flag that flew above the Confederate soldier’s monument on the State Capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina received national attention a couple of months ago after a massacre took place by a lunatic at a church, and was also removed.

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Several schools around the country are debating whether or not to remove the flag. Although a small town in Virginia decided to retain the flag and their mascot name, “the Rebels,” and Gettysburg, South Dakota declined removing the Confederate battle flag from their town’s logo and police cars, other towns have caved under the pressure brought on by hate groups such as the NAACP. In Kentucky, the debate will continue later this month when board members discuss replacing the flag that was previously flying over an elementary school in Floyd County but was taken down.

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