J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “October, 2017”

Happy Halloween!

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. In the spirit of all things spooky, sereal, and spectral, here are a couple of excerpts from my books. The first two are from A Beckoning Hellfire, due for re-realease this November. The third is from its sequel, A Rebel Among Us. Don’t let the frights terrify you tonight!

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(Excerpt from A Beckoning Hellfire)

Jake leaned in toward his friend. “You should ask him about your pa,” he reminded.

The other soldiers looked at David, waiting for him to speak. He took a deep sigh, and said, “My pa is buried here somewhere, and I was wonderin’ if y’all might know where I could find him.”

The Georgians exchanged glances.

“Can’t rightly direct you,” Michael said. “The burial site’s mighty large, and not every grave is marked. It could take days, or even weeks, and you still might not find him.”

David bit his lower lip and gazed into the fire, disappointed with the answer he’d received.

Jake quickly changed the subject and they were soon engaged in telling one chilling horror story after another, most of which the other soldiers made up. David enthralled them with “The Tell Tale Heart,” a story by Edgar Allen Poe, which none of the others had heard before. To his amusement, the others actually shivered at his telling of the story. The four soldiers talked on into the night until they realized it was late and decided to retire. As the Georgians departed, Jake leaned back, mumbling something unintelligible. David fell asleep but was soon startled awake by the bugler’s invasion.

(Also from A Beckoning Hellfire)

Cold Harbor

David shivered. Deciding to move around for warm, he slid from the saddle, but stumbled in the dark. He noticed a round, white rock, so he knelt down and picked it up. Oddly, it was much lighter than a rock. He turned it in his hands. Empty eye sockets bore into him, and the bony teeth grinned at him from death. Impulsively, he screamed, and tossed the human skull away in a panic, which sent it flying over the field. Horrified, he suddenly became aware his surroundings.

Long white bones stuck out from mounds of dirt that at one point must have served as makeshift graves. Weathered woolen uniforms and knapsacks, still intact, clung to the skeletal remains. Cannonballs sat scattered about, an eerie reminder of what had happened here.

Realizing that he was in a terrible graveyard, he shuddered. For some reason, the Yankee whose head he’d lopped off popped into his head. He glanced around, expecting the headless soldier to ride out of the darkness and attack him. An owl hooted. David nearly jumped out of his skin. Anxious to depart the frightening scene, he hurried back to Renegade, mounted, and prompted his colt to trot.

For the rest of the night, David walked Renegade along the side of a road, and carefully avoided the horrible scene of death. He had no need for coffee. His fright kept him wide awake.

When he returned to camp the next morning, he told Custis what he’d seen, and how he had held a dead man’s skull in his hand, just like a scene from Hamlet.

“Oh, that must be what’s left of those poor fellers who fought over yonder last year. We’re right close to Manassas. You didn’t know that, did you, Summers?”

Wide-eyed, David shook his head.

Custis giggled. “Reckon you got a good scare, then!” He guffawed.

(From A Rebel Among Us)

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On October 31, Patrick arrived with a bottle of whiskey and invited David to partake with him. They stood shivering at the back door, passing the bottle between them.

“‘Tis Samhain tonight, lad. All Hallow’s Eve. Were ye aware of it?”

David nodded. “Where’d you git this whiskey?” he asked.

“Aye, ‘tis a grand thing the Meyers provide me with allowance for such an indulgence,” he replied. He pulled a pipe from his coat pocket and lit it. Puffing away, he shook his head and remarked, “Sure’n ‘tis a far cry from real tobacco.”

A thought crossed David’s mind. “I’ll be right back,” he said.

He went upstairs to his room, grabbed the pouch of tobacco, and brought it back down to his friend.

Patrick peeked inside before taking a deep whiff. “Ah!” he sighed, relishing the pungent aroma. “Might this be the Southern tobacco I’ve heard tell about?”

David grinned. “Jake brought it along for tradin’, and this here’s what’s left.”

Patrick loaded his pipe, relit it, and puffed euphorically, smiling all the while. “‘Tis a wee bit o’ heaven, indeed.” He glanced at his friend. “Now, have ye any scary tales from the Southland that might have me skin crawlin’?”

David thought for a moment, “There’s a story from north Alabama about a place called the Red Bank.”

Raising his eyebrows, Patrick said, “Let’s see if ye might be tellin’ it frightfully enough to send a shiver up me spine.” He happily puffed away.

David grinned. He lowered his voice so it was a threatening grumble and delved into his story. Once he had completed the tale of an Indian maiden who had killed herself after losing her baby and had promptly turned into a ghost, he paused.

Patrick puffed silently on his pipe. “Well, now, I have a scarier one.” He puffed again, took a swig from the whiskey bottle, handed it to David, and said, “‘Tis an old tale from the motherland.”

The wind blew past them, whistling off through the barren fields. Both young men shivered, suddenly aware of the ominous darkness surrounding them.

David forced a nervous laugh before taking a swallow. “All right, Patrick. Let’s hear it.”

He took a puff and slowly exhaled. “There once lived a wealthy lady who was courted by two lords. One of the lords grew so jealous of the other that he plotted to kill his rival. So one night, he snuck into the unsuspectin’ lad’s bedchamber. But instead of choppin’ off his head—”

He said this with so much exuberance David jumped.

“He accidentally chopped off his legs instead.”

A dog howled in the distance, adding to the nuance of Patrick’s eerie Irish story.

“His torso received a proper burial, but his legs were tossed into a hole in the castle garden and covered with dirt. The murderin’ lord deceived the lady by tellin’ her the other suitor had abandoned his proposal to her. She agreed to marriage. But on their weddin’ night, in walked the two bodyless legs.”

An owl hooted from somewhere off in the empty trees.

“The legs followed the bridegroom relentlessly until the day he died. It’s said the legs can still be seen walkin’ round by themselves. ‘Tis a true phuca.” Upon this conclusion, Patrick puffed on the pipe. Smoke billowed around his head like an apparition.

“What’s a phuca?” asked David.

“A ghost,” Patrick responded.

Raising a skeptical eyebrow, David snorted. “I reckon that’s the dumbest spook story I ever did hear.”

A gate near the barn caught in the wind and slammed loudly against the fencepost. The two men jumped. They chuckled at their reaction, but immediately felt the terrible chill. Reasoning they would be more comfortable inside, they entered the kitchen, consumed the remainder of the whiskey, and bid each other goodnight. Patrick returned home, and David retired quietly upstairs, careful not to wake the others. Relieved the fireplace had been lit for him, he undressed.

Climbing into bed, he snickered at the thought of two legs unattached to a body, chasing after a rival. Once he’d fallen asleep, however, the thought invaded his dreams. The legs ran toward him. Right behind them rode the headless Union horseman. The torso raised its saber and swung it where its head should have been. Just as the blade came down, David jolted awake. He gasped to catch his breath, realizing, once again, his imagination had gotten the best of him. Slowly, he lay back. Unable to sleep, he listened to the wind rattle the shutters and shake through the skeleton-like tree limbs from outside the frosty, lace-covered windows.

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The Guardian by Anna del Mar

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Title: The Guardian

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author: Anna del Mar

Website: www.annadelmar.com

Publisher: Mermaid Press

Purchase links:

Amazon / Kobo / Nook

About The Guardian:

From the Amazon Bestseller author of The Asset and The Stranger, comes The Guardian.

Game Warden Matthias Hawking is a decorated ex-SEAL engaged in a grueling fight against ruthless poachers in Africa. He’s short on resources and long on enemies. There’s a price on his head. The last thing he needs is the unexpected arrival of a beautiful but stubborn journalist threatening to uncover his secrets, an alpha female challenging his alpha male and getting into trouble, a hurricane wearing boots.

Jade Romo is a veteran of several different kinds of war. She’s survived her heroin-addicted mother, the foster care system, and the conflict in Afghanistan. Jade’s tough, confident, cynical, and self-reliant, a woman who doesn’t believe in forevers. But when she defies the poachers and lands at the top of the warlord’s kill list, she’s forced to rely on the skilled, attractive but supremely infuriating game warden who has captivated her body’s undivided attention.

Haunted by his past but driven by his courage, her mysterious guardian will do anything in his power to protect the woman who has captured his heart.

About the Author:

Amazon Bestselling author Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass heroes who defy their limits to protect the women they love.

A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories.

When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she splits her time between Colorado and Florida, where she lives with her indulgent husband and a very opinionated cat.

Anna loves to hear from her readers. Connect at:

Annadelmar.com

Anna on Facebook

Anna on Twitter

Anna@annadelmar.com

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Art Imitates Life

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Yesterday on an episode of Designated Survivor, the debate over removing Confederate monuments made the leap from real life to primetime TV. Kiefer Sutherland, who plays President Tom Kirkman, solved the “crisis” easily and appeased the “Reverend Dale,” a Civil Rights leader on the show, by simply moving the statue to a lesser trafficked area. Bingo!

AND MISSISSIPPI MAY SOON DO IT FOR REAL

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Lafayette County may relocate the statue at their  Courthouse, which has sat outside the Courthouse since 1907, with certain restrictions.

In a letter dated Oct. 2, the Mississippi Attorney General’s office told the Lafayette County Board of Superivors they could move the statue if they ever decided to but that: “A monument may be moved within the county jurisdictional limits to some other more suitable location on county property,” the letter stated. “A monument may not be removed from the county or from public property,” it continued.

Matt Reardon, who was arrested earlier this year while standing in support of the statue, said he hopes the County doesn’t take the State up on its offer to move the statue, even if it stays in Lafayette County. “There’s a chance in relocating it that they damage the statue. Why move something that’s been there for 110 years?” said Reardon.

An email was sent to the president of the Board of Supervisors to learn if the board was planning on moving the statue or if it was even up for serious discussion. There was no reply.

AND THE REAL SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

Not the person who plays one on Designated Survivor, but President Trump’s Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, says that the Trump Administration will not remove Confederate monuments from federal lands.

“Where do you start and where do you stop?” Zinke asked a Breitbart reporter in an interview published Sunday. “It’s a slippery slope. If you’re a native Indian, I can tell you, you’re not very happy about the history of General Sherman or perhaps President Grant.” “When you try to erase history, what happens is you also erase how it happened and why it happened and the ability to learn from it.”

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IN A REAL LIFE “COMPROMISE”

We reported a few weeks ago that a San Antonio, Texas school district voted to rename Robert E. Lee High School. Very few of the students or parents wanted the name change. The District ordering the school to change the name over the strong desire of parents, students, and even teachers, to keep it.

So last Monday the Robert E Lee High School voted to rename itself the Legacy of Educational Excellence High School – LEE High school

For now, the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee still stands in the school, and the caricature of the Confederacy’s most prominent leader has yet to be displaced as the mascot. The overwhelming majority of the school’s students have told news agencies that they are proud of the name Lee and plan to maintain the traditions of their school.

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(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Oct. 13, 2017 ed.)

Loving Falltime

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I’m a big fan of autumn, especially since I moved back to Colorado. The golden aspens shimmering against the blue, snowcapped mountains is a sight nothing less than astounding. Fall brings sweater weather, football, and cozy settings. The food is great, too! I love cooking soups and stews in the crock pot, as well as apple cider. Living in the southwest, one of my favorites is green chile. One of the old recipes of the south is Hopping John.

Here is a sample from my upcoming novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is due out next month.

A week before David planned to leave, he decided to break the news to his family. He had waited as long as he could, since he was apprehensive about the event and knew they would try to talk him out of it.

His mother set steaming bowls of Hopping John in front of each of her children, who had gathered around the table. Josie grabbed a spoon and went to take a bite.

“Josephine Summers, you wait till we say grace,” her mother firmly scolded her.

“Sorry, Ma.” Josie set the spoon down.

Carolyn seated herself. She folded her hands, rested her elbows firmly on the table, and glanced around, waiting until her brood had all closed their eyes. “Lord, thank you for this food which we are about to receive. Bless this family, and give us a prosperous year. We pray in your name, Amen.”

“Amen,” her children echoed.

Carolyn passed a plate of fried cornbread to Rena.

“I don’t see how we can prosper this year, Ma, what with the Yankees breathin’ down our necks, and now a tax-in-kind bein’ imposed on us,” David remarked, swirling his spoon around in the bowl of bacon, rice, and sarsaparilla stew. He scooped up a purple-hulled pea, an onion, and some red peppers, but let them fall back into the thickness.

“The army is entitled to whatever we can provide them,” said Carolyn. “If they want us to tithe a tenth of everything we grow, then that’s what we’ll give them.”

“But what if we have a bad crop this year?” asked Rena. She looked across the table at her brother.

“The Good Lord will provide for us, dear,” Carolyn said confidently.

Rena watched her brother swirl his spoon around without taking a bite. “David, ain’t you hungry?” she asked.

Josie snickered. “That would be a first.” She grinned at her brother before shoveling another spoonful into her mouth.

David hesitated. “There’s somethin’ I want to say to y’all.” He let go of the spoon and looked directly at his mother. “I’m fixin’ to jine the army.”

Carolyn immediately stopped eating. He felt like he had put a knife into her heart by the way she glared at him.

“David, I need you here,” she said softly.

“I have to go, Ma.” His voice grew defiantly stronger. “You know I do.”

“No, you don’t, David,” Josie said in a high pitch. She reached across the table, grabbing hold of his wrist. “You don’t have to go.”

“Well, I want to, then. I’m fixin’ to go and that’s final.” He took a deep breath. What had been building up inside of him for weeks had finally been released. The whole episode made him irritated. His mother was about to protest, he knew she would, but he had to make her understand.

“When?” She stared at him with her big hazel eyes.

Feeling his anger subside, his lower lip quivered slightly. “April third,” he said, his voice softening under his mother’s gaze. “The day after my birthday.”

“That’s next week!” Josie exclaimed.

“What about your plans to go to Auburn?” asked Rena.

David snorted. “I can’t go to college now. Not with all that’s happened.” He looked down at his bowl and shrugged. “We don’t have the money, anyways.”

An awkward silence engulfed them.

“I ain’t hungry anymore,” Rena sobbed. She hurried out of the room.

David watched her leave. Guilt swept over him, but he couldn’t waver. He had a duty to fulfill. “Jake’s comin’ with me,” he mumbled.

“Oh, he is, is he?” his mother asked.

“Yes’m.”

“Do his folks know about that?”

“I reckon so.” He glanced over at Josie, who was still eating, but staring at him blankly.

“What about the crops? Have you considered that?” His mother set her spoon down on the table. “It’s more than we can manage, David. You know we have over a hundred acres out yonder.”

“I know, Ma,” he said, his voice softening even more. “Jake’s folks will help out, or their slaves will.”

“Did you speak to them about it?” Carolyn frowned.

He stared at his bowl. “No, but I’m fixin’ to…tomorrow.”

His mother sighed, picked up her spoon, and took a bite. He reluctantly did the same. The mantle clock ticked repetitiously, accentuating the quiet.

“I’m done, Ma,” Josie announced. “May I be excused?”

Carolyn nodded, so Josie rose from her place at the table and departed to the adjoining cabin.

“I’m done, too, Ma.” David said. “May I be excused?”

“You can help me with clearin’ the table. I ain’t done with you yet.”

David clenched his teeth. Under normal circumstances, he usually evaded clearing the table, since he considered it to be women’s work. This was his mother’s way of showing her disapproval, he knew.

Avoiding eye contact, he stood, gathered the dishes, and followed her out the back door. His two coonhounds, who had been waiting patiently, sprang to their feet, their tails wagging furiously.

“Caleb, you ole mutt. Si, you scoundrel,” he greeted them affectionately. He scooped the leftovers into their dish and patted his hounds in an effort to postpone the confrontation with his mother, but finally forced himself to face the inevitable. Leaving the dogs to eagerly devour their food, he entered the small wooden kitchen building. Heat from the cook stove engulfed him; the smell of fried bacon still lingered. He set the empty bowls down next to the wash basin near a burning kerosene lamp. As he turned to leave, Carolyn grabbed hold of his forearm, compelling him to look at her.

“I know I can’t talk you out of this, because you think it’s your duty and you want to do it for your pa.” She stared deeply into his eyes.

He slowly nodded, and bowed his head. It became apparent to him that his sagacious mother had known his intentions all along, for she could always read his thoughts and feelings.

“David, look at me when I’m speakin’ to you,” she instructed.

He timidly obeyed.

“That horse of yours will die of a broken heart if you don’t take him along. And besides that, he knows how to git out of his stall, and he’ll jist go chasin’ after you.”

She gave him a sad smile. He faintly smiled in response.

“Jist promise me one thing.” She held tightly onto his arm. The flame flickered, punctuating the uncomfortable, sudden stillness.

“What’s that, Ma?” he asked quietly.

“That you and Jake will git in with the cavalry. I’d feel a whole lot better if you did.”

“But, Ma, how will we kill any Yankees if we’re in the cavalry?”

She frowned. “I reckon you’ll find a way.”

David chuckled, but seeing his mother’s hardened gaze, quickly let the smile fade from his lips. “I don’t know if ole Stella can make the journey,” he said.

“Ole Stella will do jist fine. Now, you promise me.” She grasped tighter onto his forearm to the point where it was starting to hurt.

“All right, Ma. I promise.”

She released her grasp. “And you make sure Jake promises his folks. I know ya’ll think it’s one big romp, but I can’t lose you.” She turned away, stirred the cinders in the wood-burning stove, and started heating up water for the dishes.

“Ma, I’ll be all right.”

He gave her a quick peck on the cheek. His mother didn’t react. He turned, exited out of the kitchen, and glanced back. She was still facing away from him. Sauntering across the yard, he passed the well and the two outhouses and went into the house. Respectfully, he tidied up the table for her before retreating to his room. He could hear his sisters’ muffled voices seep through the wall as he plopped onto his bed and positioned a down pillow under his head. The entire episode had left him exhausted and emotionally drained. Tomorrow will be another day, he reasoned to himself and closed his eyes. Lying across the bed with his feet hanging over the edge, he drifted off.

Book Blast – Children’s Classic Stories

 

BannerAbout the Book:

This gorgeous treasury of ten classic stories is guaranteed to delight and entertain young children, bringing the magic of traditional stories to the new generation of children. Aimed at 8-12 year olds, each favourite fairy tale or story has been sensitively retold for young readers.

The series ‘Children’s Classic Stories’ contains total 100 stories in 10 volumes. The stories in this collection show the consequences of greed, pride, and vanity, but also tell of the love that grows from a kind heart and a cheerful nature.

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Volume 1 includes the following stories:

  1. Little Red Riding Hood
  2. Cinderella
  3. Hansel and Gretel
  4. Sleeping Beauty
  5. Snow White and Rose Red
  6. The Emperor’s New Clothes
  7. Rumplestiltskin
  8. The Wise Little Girl
  9. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  10. Rip Van Winkle

Goodreads * Amazon

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About the Author:

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. She is the author of All Signs Lead Back to You, When Our Worlds Collide, The Guitar Girl and The Secret Proposal. She compiled and edited the 10 volumes series, ‘Children’s Classic Stories’ with love and great efforts.

Website * Twitter * Instagram * Facebook

 

“The Unity Game” Is Science Fiction With Philosophy

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WHAT IF THE EARTH YOU KNEW WAS JUST THE BEGINNING?

A New York banker is descending into madness.

A being from an advanced civilization is racing to stay alive.

A dead man must unlock the secrets of an unknown dimension to save his loved ones.

From the visions of Socrates in ancient Athens, to the birth of free will aboard a spaceship headed to Earth, The Unity Game tells a story of hope and redemption in a universe more ingenious and surprising than you ever thought possible.

Metaphysical thriller and interstellar mystery, this is a ‘complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’ from an exciting and original new voice in fiction.

Goodreads * Amazon

Reviews for The Unity Game

“A complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel.” ~~ Kirkus Reviews

“Elegantly written, expertly crafted and a moving message. I found this book very hard to put down. Moving and poignant.” ~~ Lilly, Amazon US reviewer

“An engrossing, unique, and totally bizarre tale! I could not stop reading it once I started. Such a beautiful take on the afterlife, and its connection to those still living. A unity game, indeed!”~~ Brenna, Goodreads reviewer

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About the Author

Leonora Meriel grew up in London and studied literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Queen’s University in Canada. She worked at the United Nations in New York, and then for a multinational law firm.

In 2003 she moved from New York to Kyiv, where she founded and managed Ukraine’s largest Internet company. She studied at Kyiv Mohyla Business School and earned an MBA, which included a study trip around China and Taiwan, and climbing to the top of Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak and part of the Carpathian Mountains. She also served as President of the International Women’s Club of Kyiv, a major local charity.

During her years in Ukraine, she learned to speak Ukrainian and Russian, witnessed two revolutions and got to know an extraordinary country at a key period of its development.

In 2008, she decided to return to her dream of being a writer, and to dedicate her career to literature. In 2011, she completed The Woman Behind the Waterfall, set in a village in western Ukraine. While her first novel was with a London agent, Leonora completed her second novel The Unity Game, set in New York City and on a distant planet.

Leonora currently lives in Barcelona and London and has two children. She is working on her third novel.

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Writing about violence as a peaceful person

Whatever kind of writer you are, your books will have characters that span the range of human emotions. Love, passion, bravery, fear, anger, elation, jealousy, despair, hope – during an author’s lifetime, the people who come to play their parts in the pages your tales will experience all of these. And somewhere along the lines, two men will fight a duel over a lady, or a mother will defend her children by killing a zombie with a sawn-off shotgun, or a soldier will take her first shot into enemy territory.

For better or worse, violence is a part of the society around us – albeit the very worst part, and a part that many people struggle to avoid and rid from our civilization. And yet, that can make it even more appealing as a subject to a writer, as it fits so well into the larger story of Good vs. Evil. Violence is a manifestation of evil; or it is an incredible act of heroism; or it is instinctive self-defense. There are many forms and threads that physical harm can take.

As a deeply peaceful person, I had not expected to find myself writing about violence of any kind. I have never been subjected to it, short of witnessing some street incidents in big cities, and my experience has been from second-hand observation of the society around us. When I read books, I try as much as possible to avoid descriptions of violence, and it is the one subject that will cause me to skip forward a few pages, if I think that the depictions of dreadful acts will root too deeply into my head and I will be struggling to purge them for years. Films, also, are often hard for me to watch, and I will happily turn something off if it is crossing my line of comfort, or even walk out of a movie theatre (Clockwork Orange and Kill Bill to date).

And yet, in my second novel, The Unity Game, my main character decided to kill. The novel is a metaphysical thriller with elements of sci-fi, and the murder had layers of meaning beyond the physical act, and yet I found myself easily writing this scene that in another book might horrify me. When I came to the editing stage, I considered re-writing the plot and removing it. And yet I couldn’t. My character had committed this deed, and I had to follow the consequences of the person who had manifested themselves in the pages before me. The murder stayed.

Later, as I thought about what I had written, and the actions of my character, I realized that it was perhaps because of my stance as a peaceful person, dedicated to bringing positivity to the world, that I had been drawn to explore this topic. How could someone be drawn to violence? How is it possible for human beings, who are born in total vulnerability to loving parents, come to shed blood, to harm, or to take other lives? If I was truly committed to my peaceful stance on the world, then I had to understand the motives and threads that draw someone into this mindset. And this is what I had done with my main character. I had explored a topic that I was fascinated by, in order to comprehend the situation I cared about.

The ease with which I wrote the scene, and with which my character turned to violence shocked me. When I was creating the events, I was inside my character’s head, and yet surely I was simultaneously tapping into a deep part of myself – the part that every human being has that is capable of violence.

The experience of this humbled me, and made me even more dedicated to understanding the causes violence in our world. In my next novel perhaps I will continue to explore this topic that is so relevant in modern society – and at the same time, seek for solutions in the pages of my books, and in the world around me.

 

Dishonoring Memphis’ History

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Memphis just can’t leave well enough alone. In 2013, the city council voted to change the names of three parks in the city, specifically Forrest Park, Confederate Park, and Jefferson Davis Park, to names more politically correct and anti-Confederate. It’s astonishing to me how some Southern cities like New Orleans, Charlottesville, Dallas, and of course, Memphis, want to disregard their history. Not only that, but some members of the city council want to move General Forrest and his wife’s bodies from Forrest Park (they are now buried beneath the statue of the general on King Philip) and move them to Elmwood Cemetery. There is a reason General Forrest and his wife were moved to Forrest Park from Elmwood Cemetery in 1905: out of enormous admiration and respect. Now the city wants to disregard this and display flagrant disrespect.

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MEMPHIS CHAMBER OPPOSES MONUMENTS

The Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce is mobilizing support for Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s request for a State waiver to allow the City to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in violation of State Law.

In advance of the Oct. 13 meeting on the Tennessee Historical Commission, where Strickland will make his case, the chamber’s board of directors has drafted a letter “in behalf of the business community.”

The letter calls the statue of the Confederate general, “one of several divisive symbols that hamper our city’s efforts to attract and retain top talent for the skilled workforce that is critical to our success.”

The Chairman of the Historical Commission has told Mayor Strickland that the Commission will not hear the city’s request for a waiver at the Oct. 13 meeting in Athens, Tennessee.

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(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Oct. 6, 2017 ed.)

War Is Hell (Even When It’s Not a Battle)

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The tragedy that happened in Las Vegas last Sunday was terrible and possibly avoidable. How one psycho can premeditate such carnage is beyond my comprehension. The Vegas Strip suddenly became a war zone, changing hundreds of lives forever. My heart and prayers go out to all the people and their families who were effected by this disturbed individual.

It’s interesting how, when such a terrible thing happens, people come together to defend and protect one another. This is an admirable part of human nature. There are many reported instances of this happening in wartime. During the Civil War, Clara Barton risked her own life to go out onto the battlefield and help wounded Union soldiers. Although they fought on different sides, soldiers crossed enemy lines to assist one another.

One such soldier was Confederate Sergeant Richard Rowland Kirkland. Following the Battle of Fredericksburg, Kirkland risked his life by crossing the Federal line to give suffering northern soldiers drinks from his canteen. His actions were so revered that a statue was erected depicting his selfless act. Sadly, Sergeant Kirkland was killed less than a year later at the Battle of Chicamauga.

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Here is a brief excerpt from my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, describing Sergeant Kirkland’s actions. This description takes place following the Battle of Fredericksburg.

It had stopped raining, but bitter cold replaced it. Upon returning to camp, Bud and his comrades learned that they had lost five, with seventeen wounded. Their regiment didn’t fire a single shot. The Yankees, it was estimated, lost over nine thousand after making fourteen assaults that were all beaten back. The men heard of one brave soul, Sergeant Kirkland of South Carolina, who acquired a reputation as the “Angel of Marye’s Heights” for crossing enemy lines and benevolently tending to the Union wounded by providing them with blankets and water. John Pelham, an Alabama son who was in charge of Jackson’s artillery, received praise from General Lee for bravely executing an effective barrage by deceiving the Yankees into thinking his numbers were far greater than they actually were, and holding their lines in the process.

The Alabamians were told that Fredericksburg had been left in terrible condition. The Yankees were allowed to freely loot, ransack, burn, and pillage anything and everything, which infuriated the Rebels.

Is This Awesome Or What!?

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Over the weekend, I was informed by my United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) chapter’s president that I won an award at the annual Mississippi convention. What an amazing honor! I am so humbled to receive this special award for the publication of my two books, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and Horses in Gray, during the past year, and to win the award for my UDC chapter, Varina Howell Davis #2559.

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion       Horses in Gray Cover

(Click on books for purchasing info.)

The annual Mississippi UDC convention was held last weekend in Gulfport. This is a beautiful city near Biloxi. I can’t thank the Mississippi UDC division enough for this very special honor.

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To learn more about the Mississippi United Daughters of the Confederacy, please visit: http://mississippiudc.homestead.com/.

Visit my UDC chapter’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1327342747312231/

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