J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “January, 2016”

War Waged Against Everything Confederate in Florida

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According to a letter from David McCallister, the Florida Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Heritage Chairman, there are three pending initiatives in the Florida Legislature. Mr. McCallister believes these initiatives would greatly affect the SCV.

The most dire initiative would make it illegal for anyone in the state to display any Confederate flag or emblem on public property. This includes courthouses and courthouse squares, the Capitol, state parks, museums, libraries, cemeteries and parking lots.
It includes all Confederate flags, not just the battle flag that has recently come under attack across the country. The initiative also includes re-enactments, festivals, such as the Battle of Olustee, or Rifles, Rails and History in Tavares. If anything Confederate is displayed, citizens would have the right to sue.
The initiative is classified as Senate Bill (SB) 154 and House Bill (HB) 243. This is alarming, to say the least, because if these bills are passed, there will be no stopping such atrocities from happening in every state. It is an unfunded mandate from Tallahassee and is imposed on all other governmental entities of Florida. If passed, it could cost Florida residents millions of dollars.
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The second initiative is just as appalling. It proposes to remove the statue of General Edmund Kirby Smith as Florida’s representative in Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. This initiative was sponsored by a history teacher from Pasco County. Apparently, this teacher has never studied Southern history and has no idea who Smith was. The bills are HB 141 and SB 310.
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The third bill proposes to change the Florida State Senate Seal by removing the Confederate flag from the five historical flags display. The argument for this bill is that the CSA was not a sovereign nation, but this is false. The bill is SB 1026.
It is nothing less than shameful that certain politically correct special interest groups are pushing to remove all things Confederate, and thus, attempting to erase a significant part of Southern history and identity. The bills are offensive and discriminatory against Florida veterans and residents.
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Free Dark Fiction Book

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Today I have the privilege of spotlighting a new book by Thomas S. Flowers, titled Dwelling. This book, the first in a series, looks deliciously scary, and I can’t wait to read it! There is a link at the bottom of this blog to obtain a free copy, so take advantage of the opportunity. Here is a short synopsis of the story:
A group of inseparable childhood friends are now adults, physically and psychologically devastated by war… 
 
A horrifying creature emerges from a sandstorm just before Ricky Smith dies in battle. Forced to leave base housing, his widow Maggie buys a home on Oak Lee Road in the town of Jotham. Maggie is isolated in the historic house…and disconcerted by strange clicking sounds inside the walls. 
 
Jonathan Steele attempts to drink the painful past away… 
 
Jonathan was wounded in that fateful battle and now suffers from PTSD. He wants to put the nightmare behind him, but when Ricky’s ghost appears with cryptic warnings about Maggie’s house, he begins to question his sanity. 
 
Bobby Weeks is a homeless veteran struggling with a lycanthropic curse… 
 
Afraid of bringing harm, Bobby stays far away from those he loves. But after a full moon, a mysterious woman approaches him and reveals a vision about a house with a sinister presence, and he realizes staying away might no longer be an option. 
 
Minister Jake Williams lost his faith on the battlefield… 
 
While Jake will do anything to reconnect with God, he turns to vices to fill the religious void. But a church elder urges him to take a sabbatical, and a ghost tells him to quit the ministry, and his life is more out of control than ever. 
 
When Maggie wakes in a strange subterranean cavern, she can’t deny her home harbors dark secrets. Desperate, she sends letters to her old friends to reunite in Jotham, and events conspire to draw them all to the house…unaware of the danger awaiting them. 
 
The friends have already been through hell, but can any of them survive the evil dwelling beneath the House on Oak Lee?
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DWELLING by Author Thomas S Flowers is FREE for a limited time only!! http://amzn.to/1Is5ywE
Thomas S. Flowers,   Dark Fiction Writer
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Pro-Flag Rally a Success

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On Tuesday, a rally was held in defense of the Mississippi state flag. Under sunny skies, Mississippians came together in defense of keeping their flag. Several hundred people attended the peaceful rally, which was held on the steps of the State Capitol Building in Jackson. This is contrary to what local reporter, Ross Adams of 16 WAPT News reported. According to Adams, only a dozen people attended, but this was far from true. The video link at the end of this post will attest to that.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, among other pro-flag groups, invited the public to participate by flying their Mississippi state flags as well as their U.S. flags. The rally was held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and the crowd was entertained by a band and numerous speakers.

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“(We) want the Legislature to know (that) there’s a large grassroots support, still, to this day, as there was 16 years ago to keep the current state flag as it is and not change it,” said Ross Aldridge, who is a member of the Dixie Alliance.

The event was prompted after several schools, including state funded University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and some cities chose to remove the flags for political correctness’ sake.

“The flag from Mississippi represents nothing but evil and dark times of black people over years and years,” said John Christopher Knight, who thinks the flag should be changed.

Mr. Knight seems to be overlooking the fact that Confederate soldiers were fighting to defend their homeland, not slavery. At that time in history, very few were fighting to free slaves, north or south. During the 1960’s, hate groups chose to use the Confederate battle flag as their emblem, and some people still associate that flag with racism. However, the battle flag is just that: a battle flag. Hate groups have also used the U.S. flag as their emblem.

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Mississippi lawmakers might take up the issue in the current legislative session, but so far, there has been no announcement that they will do so. The decision to keep the flag was made several years ago, and to re-vote on something that has already been decided is redundant. Lawmakers should vote on more pressing issues like state crime, industry, and poverty, instead of wasting time rehashing what has already been voted on by the people.

http://wapt.tv/6189BXfff

The Great General Lee

 

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One of my favorite people who lived during the Civil War is Confederate General Robert E. Lee. If Lee were alive, he would be celebrating his 209th birthday today. He came from a distinguished Virginia family, and his father, Harry “Lighthorse” Lee, fought in the Revolutionary War. Lee graduated at the head of his class at West Point, and served gallantly in the Mexican War. His integrity was unsurpassed, because he resigned his commission with the U.S. military to defend his home state of Virginia once the Civil War broke out. With reluctance, he did his duty, and performed it well up until the end of the war.

General Lee was deeply religious. He was a gentleman and a nobleman. He freed his slaves before the war started, unlike Union General Ulysses S. Grant, who freed his slaves after the war ended. Lee served as president of Washington and Lee University, but the war took its toll, like it did on so many soldiers. He only survived five years after the war ended.

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Lee was revered  by his countrymen, both North and South alike, as one of the finest generals America has ever produced. Dwight D. Eisenhower, America’s 34th president, said of him:

“General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause….he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle.

Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his belief in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.

From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul.”

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When Franklin D. Roosevelt, America’s 32nd president, spoke at the unveiling of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Statue in Dallas, Texas, on June 12, 1936, he said: “I am happy to take part in this unveiling of the statue of Lee. All over the United States we recognize him as a great general. But also, all over the United States, I believe we recognize him as something much more than that. We recognize Robert E. Lee as one of our greatest American Christians and one of our Greatest American gentlemen.”

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General Lee has always been highly regarded… that is, until recently. Now, certain interest groups have been striving to disparage his name. It is shameful that they want to remove the Confederate battle flag that he fought under from his gravesite, or do away with his statues. It is also shameful that they are defacing monuments with graffiti. Just because political attitudes have changed, which they are always bound to do, is no excuse for erasing the past and defaming such an important historical figure.

“Everyone should do all in his power to collect and disseminate the truth, in the hope that it may find a place in history and descend to posterity. History is not the relation of campaigns and battles and generals or other individuals, but that which shows the principles for which the South contended and which justified her struggle for those principles.”                                                                   – General Robert E. Lee

General Lee appears in my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire. Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Beckoning-Hellfire-Novel-Civil-War/dp/0595435319/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453239012&sr=8-1&keywords=a+beckoning+hellfire

 

Court Battle Over Confederate Monuments

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Take Em Down NOLA (TEDN), a multiracial coalition working to remove Confederate statues in New Orleans, teamed up with several lawyers and filed an amicus brief last Monday, January 11.The brief, filed in federal court, is in retaliation to a lawsuit filed by an opposing group that includes the Monumental Task Committee, Louisiana Landmarks Society, Foundation for Historical Louisiana, Inc., Beauregard Camp No. 30, Inc., and the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The group filed a lawsuit on December 17, 2015, and sued the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, the City of New Orleans and Mayor Mitchell Landrieu.

The monuments in question are of Confederates Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard. The Battle of Liberty Place Monument is also up for removal. A federal judge will hear the first argument in the case today.

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The amicus brief supports the authority of the New Orleans City Council to remove statues considered to be public nuisances.”Section 146-611 (b) of the New Orleans Code of Ordinances empowers the City Council to remove statues from public property when those statues are a nuisance. Part One of the ordinance defines a nuisance a “thing honors, praises, or fosters ideologies which are in conflict with the requirements of equal protection for citizens as provided by the constitution and laws of the United States, the state, or the laws of the city and gives honor or praise to those who participated in the killing of public employees of the city or the state or suggests the supremacy of one ethnic, religious, or racial group over any other, or gives honor or praise to any violent actions taken wrongfully against citizens of the city to promote ethnic, religious or racial superiority of any group.”

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H & O Investments of Baton Rouge was hired to take down the monuments, but quit after receiving death threats, and other businesses threatened to cancel their contracts with the company, city attorney Rebecca Dietz told the court today.  “The city has been in negotiations with private landowners” for the creation of a Civil War park in which the monuments would be placed, Dietz said.

New Book Out on Blog Tour

Today I’m featuring a new YA novel that is doing a blog tour, titled Tweenache in the Time of #ashtags, by Judy Balan. It looks like a fun read, so check it out! Here’s some more information about it. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway contest! (The link is at the bottom of this post.)

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Book Blurb:

#Tweenache101: First, there’s PMS (it’s real and it’s painful and can someone please make it stop?). Second, there’s #The Boy. Yes, that’s right. The BOY. And third, there’s a #New Dad in the picture. Actually, he’s an old dad, but if Nina’s never met him before, he totally counts as new, right? And worst of all, there’s the #Nerd Wars. There’s a new nerd in the classroom – and she might be even nerdier than Nina.

THIS. CAN’T. BE. GOOD.

From the author of How To Stop Your Grownup From Making Bad Decisions, here’s another hilarious season in the life of #NinaThePhilosopher.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Website |

JudyBalan

About the Author:

Judy Balan is the overthinking parent of an overthinking child. Reality overwhelms her at times, which is why she enjoys making stuff up. She loves reading, watching and writing comedy. How to Stop Your Grownup from Making Bad Decisions was her first attempt at writing for non-grownups. She enjoyed it so much she decided to make it a series and call it Nina the Philosopher because over-thinking tweens deserve their own series. For more on Judy and her writing, hop over to judybalan.com or check out Nina’s blog ninathephilosopher.com.

10 Random Facts About The Author:

  1. Judy Balan is the over-thinking parent of an over-thinking child.
  1. Reality overwhelms her at times, which is why she enjoys making stuff up.
  2. When she’s not writing novels, she’s fighting and making up with her daughter, heading the creative team at Raising iBrows (formerly), an audience engagement agency, and eating too much Nutella.
  1. One of Judy’s favourite pastimes is reading too many articles on alternative parenting styles and confusing her even more.
  1. Another favourite pastime is observing and analysing everything and everyone, including herself.
  1. This is her second book for children, but she hopes to write many more (hopefully, stories with orcs, dragons and such. This book can be read as a Stand-Alone, but reading the first one in the series is highly recommended!
  1. Her previous books were the bestselling Two Fates: The Story of My Divorce and Sophie Says: Memories of a Breakup Coach and How to Stop Your Grownup from Making Bad Decisions. Both these books were for grownups.
  1. This book is NOT about her life although she’s a single parent too and Nina was inspired by her daughter, Kiara.
  1. As a child, Judy was in a big hurry to grow up, but now she wants to tell all children to slow down because adulthood isn’t going anywhere. Apparently.
  1. Judy loves hearing from her readers, so you can email her at balan.judy@gmail.com. If you’re over eighteen, you can check out her website too at http://www.judybalan.com .

Stalk Links:

Facebook  | Twitter  | Website | Goodreads |

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Everything’s Better in Threes

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Cover Art 9780595908561

With the upcoming release of my new novel, my Civil War story about a family from Alabama will become a trilogy. When I wrote the first book, I had no intention of writing more along the same story line, but the books wrote themselves and the characters had more to tell. I started with one book, wrote a sequel, went back and wrote a prequel, and am now working on a fourth book, thus completing the Renegade Series. Who knows: I might even write a fifth book after that. We’ll see.

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There have been many stories written that have become trilogies. Some of the more notable books are:

The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Divergent Trilogy

Fifty Shades Trilogy

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy

North and South Trilogy

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Some famous movie trilogies include:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Back to the Future Trilogy

Indiana Jones Trilogy

The Dark Knight Trilogy

Toy Story Trilogy

Star Wars (the first three)

Aliens

The Godfather Trilogy

Terminator Trilogy

There are many more, but these are some of my favorite trilogies. One interesting thing about writing a trilogy is keeping track of all the little details and nuances, and carrying them through to the end of the story. It is also delightful to weave in new threads and carry them throughout the story as well. I find that writing a trilogy and a series is both challenging and fun at the same time.

http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Glittering-Lie-J-Hawkins-ebook/dp/B007S7LWQE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452202459&sr=8-1&keywords=a+beautiful+glittering+lie

http://www.amazon.com/Beckoning-Hellfire-Novel-Civil-War-ebook/dp/B006WO6LOW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452202493&sr=8-1&keywords=a+beckoning+hellfire

Recovery Time

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Although Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, I’ll have to admit, it can be exhausting! I feel like I’m fighting off a cold or some other unknown disease after being around a bunch of sickies for the past few weeks, and all the calories I ingested are catching up. The decorations have all been taken down, leaving a void where they used to be for over a month. The gifts have all been opened, some returned, and others re-gifted: not from me but to me. Argh!

Now that the New Year is upon us, the snow and cold seem unrelenting and endless. Next week it will be a high of three degrees here. Three degrees! Argh! I feel like I need another vacation to come off of this vacation. I hear the Bahamas are nice this time of year. If only… sigh.

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One thing I did manage to complete was the line edits for my latest novel. Because of the holidays, it took me longer than I anticipated, but now the task is accomplished and I’m looking forward to the next phase in the publishing process. This book is the third in a series I’ve written, titled the Renegade Series, which makes the story a trilogy so far. I’ll write more about this in my next blog post.

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Getting back on track can be difficult. I’m sure I can do it, but some people have trouble. They experience profound depression this time of year, so please reach out to those who might need your help. A New Year means new opportunities. I’m excited about what the future holds!

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