J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “March, 2018”

Book Blitz: Forsaken Heart

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About the Book

Punished for sins not her own, can a mortal claim her vampire mate?

The world of immortals must unite to save both themselves and the mortals they co-exist with from an ancient evil.

For Bede MacTaggert this means trusting in the warrior sent for her sister—a man of mystery, of power, and one who could easily sweep her into a world she’s destined to be part of.

An imperial guard to the king of vampires, Gawain has always tuned out the needs of the flesh. Dedicating himself to the service of the royals, he’s lived on the fringes of his people for centuries. Now he’s forced from the shadows and into the arms of a woman who will awaken his heart and body to a passion unequaled.

Forsaken Heart Cover

Content Warning: graphic sex, some violence

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About the Author

Born in Northern British Columbia, Elise is a small-town girl. She writes in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary suspense, m/m in various lengths. Currently, she lives in British Columbia with her husband and son, one dog, one cat, and a gecko. Elise enjoys reading as much as she does writing, with some of her favorite books being read until they fall apart.

She is currently working on the next book in the Forsaken Series, Burning Rain. As well she has a new contemporary she’s working on. For more information on Elise, or to check out her books you can find her on Facebook, twitter, and her website.


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Forsaken Heart Book One

Forsaken Heart:

Clean Excerpt

“Frails are not to be toyed with,” Gawain ground out and grabbed the girl, spinning her away, his sword at the ready as the man heaved upward, a dagger clutched in his hand. Gawain’s sword rested easy on his palm, ready, the surface slicked with blood as he faced the coward.

“She’s mine to do with as I choose.” He gurgled, collapsing to the ground, his weapon falling from pudgy fingers. “Paid ten pieces of gold for ’em both, and I aim to get a might of use out ’em.”

“Now she’s mine,” Gawain declared. Raising his sword, he drove it through the man’s chest, pinning his twitching frame to the ground. He stepped back, his gaze sweeping the clearing. Males such as this did not travel alone, his cohorts would be close. He’d need to find and kill them…

Searing pain lanced through him, splitting his chest. Gawain glanced down. The thin, sharp tip of a blade stuck from his chest. He touched the blade and snarled. The metal was warm, when it should have been cold. Shock slammed into him as the blade began to glow, turning a searing red before changing back to normal, or as normal as it could be with blood racing down the weapon.

Whirling, his hand already scrabbling for the dagger’s hilt in his back, he grabbed his assailant by the throat and lifted. Grunting as he pulled the weapon free, his lips curled upward. “You’d do well, wench, to know your place.”

“If you think I mean to let you do her harm…” Sputtering, her nails digging into his wrists, the girl’s brown eyes stared into his. Fear lay within the depths but something else stirred. Something dark, dangerous, easily recognized if one knew what they were looking for.

His fingers moved, tightening, loosening as he pulled her against him. Inhaling, he caught the faint scent of blood, fear, sweat, fire, and something sultry, sweet, and light on his tongue. Drawing the scent deep, he wallowed in it, his body responding to the aroma he’d dreamed of but never found.

Gawain inhaled slowly, his muscles tightening, burning. Using the tip of her dagger, he pushed the material of her shift aside. The scrolling marks of a serpent flared before his eyes. It coiled and danced beneath the girl’s flesh.


Defaming the General


Here is another example of how political correctness has gone awry in the South. Just FYI, Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slave trader in Memphis. He was a product of his time. Slavery was legal, and he always treated his slaves humanely and with respect. He never tore families apart. In fact, his slaves loved him so much that they fought for him as members of his “Special Forces.” Closemindedness and lack of education have created  the current wave of what I refer to as “fear of the past.”


In 1955 a historical marker was placed near the site of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s early home. The 60-word marker highlights Forrest’s early life, noting his Mississippi childhood and terms as an aldermen in Nashville.


It has been removed and a new marker will replace it. Scheduled to be unveiled April 4, the new marker will consist of 462-words devoted almost entirely to demonizing the General as a “slave trader.” The new marker will also include other information about the Memphis slave trade, noting that Forrest was one of eight slave traders in the city.

The text of the new marker was written by Rhode’s College students and approved by the National Park Service and professors at the University of Memphis.

“The National Park Service is pleased to provide funding from the Lower Mississippi Delta fund for this project,” said Timothy Good, the superintendent at Missouri’s Ulysses S. Grant National Historic site who helped approve the text. “The resulting interpretive marker will encourage heritage tourism to Memphis and will also educate Americans about Memphis’ nationally significant history.”

(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, March 9, 2018 ed.)

Release Day Blitz

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“Oh God, why me?”

This is perhaps what we think of when we go through a ‘breakup’.

This story is about Anirudh and Anvi.

Both of them have their own thinking which are not alike.

The story begins with Anirudh meeting with and accident. As he slowly succumbs to the pain, he starts reflecting about his bygone college days where he found his love for music. He loves Anvi dearly who is a long-lost friend of Anirudh.

The story reveals how Anirudh struggles as the hands of reality strikes him down.


Excerpt from the Novel ‘My First Breakup’

Anvi speaking to the Protagonist Anirudh: This is it. One wrong move and I find myself crying to sleep. Days, maybe weeks of putting up the brave face. The ultimate, cliché teenage drama. Everyone has been through it and everyone has heard of it. But for me it was the first time. Maybe the last, hopefully.  

  So, wearing my heart on my sleeves, I fell in ‘love’. Not once, but twice with the same guy in a row. Tramp? No. I was in love. Deeply, madly, unconditionally. Until the hands of practicality punched me right on my face. I was left stranded and confused. Wondering why all of this was happening to me.  Another cliché moment. But for me, it was the first time.

   There is something about human nature which seeks for sympathy. Just had a breakup? The whole world is conspiring for you to be unhappy. No, I will not smile, the world is a cruel place. It takes days for people to get over it. For me? Well no surprise to you, it took a year. One entire year of  ‘the wait’. Sitting back now and thinking about it, I find it funny. No, I find it hilarious. So, what happened after the year was over? Did I just miraculously wake up one day and think to myself that, “hey, you know what…. you are a great girl, get over it…move on!!” No, I realized that he had thought of this way back. He had moved on way back. While, the “so-in-love” me, was waiting. Simply waiting for my stars to turn and relive the same love story again.  

 The moment you see that your ex has a different face beside the “in a relationship” status, that is the moment you realize how blind and ridiculous you were. The once cute goatee seems like a bush now, that smile which made you smile makes you want to knock off all his teeth, his fascination for food makes you notice his peeking belly pouch. In a nutshell, you are no longer in love with him and his flaws. So then, life brings you to a fork road. The fun road is where you sit back and spread wild rumors about how terrible he is and how he broke your heart. Believe me, the devil will tempt you to follow this path. It is a fantastic journey, but a few more months of futility. So I chose the better path. Get up, pull yourself together, shrug off the dust and embrace the new journey. I am glad I chose the latter. Very glad.

 What do you do when an entire part of your life has been erased which once held so much of importance to you? You try and fill it up with things you never had time for otherwise. Socialize, go out, write, sing, laugh, read, stare randomly out of the window and get lost in your own beautiful world. Life was better. I am an ardent believer in unconventionality. Why follow the crowd? I won’t make my own crowd! No siree! I won’t even sit at a distance and laugh at the crowd. I would rather live in a parallel world, a different dimension maybe. I can see you. But you can’t touch me. You can’t judge me. I can be me. Shamelessly.

Raise the walls high. Build the impenetrable walls. Shut the gates. It’s my own perfect world. A year goes by in my world. Everything is healed.
I decide to open up the windows a little bit. A little fresh air will cause no harm. I felt a whiff. A new breeze. That felt nice. It felt familiar. Maybe I can open up my windows just a wee bit more. I will shut them off immediately. They are wide open now. Even today. I never shut them. I was never able to.

  Vulnerable or strong? Please be vulnerable, please be vulnerable……… pleaded my heart. Shut up already. You have created enough chaos. I am in charge now. No more “Fairytale dreams”, no more car rides, no more falling for flattering messages, no more being silly in love.

Do you have a tiny voice at the back of your head which speaks back to you and gives life advice, for god’s sake? Well mine is louder than my own voice, has a humongous ego and can be downright obnoxious sometimes. It’s difficult living with it seriously. You know the worst part? It is usually right.

‘ I love you’. Nope, no you don’t. ‘I could die for you’. No you can’t. ‘I have waited my whole life for you’. Were you born yesterday? ‘I just want to be with you’. Yeah, you want to be in my pants. The voice is annoying I tell you, but it is always right. If I was anything like the voice then I doubt whether I would have had any friends.

Author Pic

Dhruba Das Roy is a freelance writer, a musician by passion, and a software engineer by profession. He is from Assam, but born in a small town of Meghalaya, where he finished his schooling. He then obtained his degree in engineering from the esteemed college of National Institute of Technology. He discovered his love for music there and was the lead vocalist of his band, “The Rozarts”.

He loves rock and roll and is a great fan of the pioneers of rock and roll-(Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen and the list goes on).Unfortunately, as engineering life came to an end, the band had to split. Recently, he moved to Kolkata where he is working in one of leading software service based companies in India.
Not everyone can put their thoughts into words. Dhruba had never tried his hand in writing; but he had an experience, an experience which changed his life for the better. Being a vocalist, his only way of expression was through the creative way. He decided to pen down his thoughts and he discovered that writing came naturally to him. His thought process in the novel relates to the general mass in many ways. He decided to stretch his limits and ended up voicing his thoughts in a different way this time.


New Review for Horses in Gray

My husband just received the latest edition of his SCV magazine, the Confederate Veteran, and a review of my nonfiction book, Horses in Gray, was included. Here is the review. Thank you, Confederate Veteran, for you wonderful review!

Horses in Gray Cover

Horses in Gray – Famous Confederate Warhorses

This book should be on the required reading list for all Southerners, or anyone interested in the South.

All the classic horses and riders are presented; Lee and Traveller, Stonewall and Little Sorrel, etc. Many new and interesting characters dot the pages of this book.

Chapter 1 details the typical story of Confederate horses, and more humble mules, who served their handlers well, but left no name written in history. Horses suffered the same dangers and trials experienced by our Confederate soldiers. Both died of wounds received during the battles, but also died from lack of adequate housing and food. The author relates one episode during the cold Romney Campaign of 1862 where “from one horse’s knees there were icicles of blood which reached nearly to the ground.” With horrible conditions, the average life of a war horse was only six months.

Of course, a chapter is devoted to Lee’s Traveller, sired by the great racehorse Grey Eagle. The nature of Traveller is shown not only by his courage in battle, but also by a little-known event in which a stray hen adopted General Lee’s tent during the Battle of Fredericksburg., laid eggs each day for the General and found comfortable roost on Traveller’s back. Trusted Traveller survived the War and could be found on the campus of Washington and Lee College. When Lee died, the saddle and bridle of his favorite horse was draped with black crepe, and the General’s boots were placed backwards in the stirrups. Lee also owned other horses; Richmond, Brown Roan, Lucy long, and Ajax. Author Hawkins states, “Lee’s undying love of horses was just as profound as his love for Virginia, and he proved it in every aspect of his life.”

Hero “Stonewall” Jackson owned a horse called “Little Sorrel,” but this work also provides the story of an earlier, unruly Jackson horse called “Big Sorrel.” The unusual character of “Little Sorrel” is covered well by the author and demonstrated by the following: “Little Sorrel amused his master by lying on the ground like a dog when he slept. He would also roll over and lie on his back with his feet up in the air.”


Less is known about the favorite steed of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Roderick. In a chapter entitled “The Thirty Horses of Forrest,” Roderick’s history is given along with many other horses who came in contact with the famous cavalry officer. The reader should be prepared to hear of tragic, and moving stories involving these war horses. Forrest’s Highlander during a chase “…was shot in the neck. The animal’s carotid artery had been severed, and blood spurted from it like a fountain, spraying Forrest with a crimson mist. Forrest stuck his index finger into the wound, plugged the hole, and spurred Highlander into a gallop. Finally halting beneath a large tree on a high knoll overlooking the Tennessee River, he removed his finger from the wound and dismounted. The faithful steel slumped and without ceremony, dropped dead.”

Other chapters cover war horses of J.E.B. Stuart, John Mosby, Turner Ashby, Lt. Colonel Blackford, John Hunt Morgan, Confederate spy Belle Boyd, and many others. Also covered is the unusual story of Confederate camels.

These stories are interesting and well written. Details are thorough and bring out facts confirming a long held belief that the South was horse country. Many Southerners grew up with horses, and the affection felt between the soldier and his horse was strong.

To close this review, a great example is included, written by Hawkins, of the closeness between man and horse. This is about Forrest and his mount Roderick.

During a frontal attack, “The devoted steed was hit three times by enemy fire, but despite his suffering he valiantly struggled forward. Realizing the severity of Roderick’s wounds, Forrest rode to the rear. He handed Roderick over to Willie before returning to the front on a fresh mount.

Roderick was attracted to the sounds of the battle. He broke away and galloped across the battlefield in search of Forrest. The brave warhorse leapt three fences on his way. Just before reaching Forrest, he received his fourth and fatal wound. He died at Forrest’s side.”

If you only read one book this year, Horses in Gray should be at the top of your list. This reviewer will certainly look at the statues of our mounted Confederate heroes with new understanding and respect. J.D.R. Hawkins has done honor to these animals.

Author: J.D.R. Hawkins

Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company

Gretna, Louisiana



Paperback $27.95

Reviewed by Gary Lee Hall



Art in the Realm of War



On a recent trip to Disneyland, my son and I went to California Adventure and participated in a class on how to draw Disney characters. It was loads of fun and very interesting to see how artists create cartoon characters. I hate to admit it, but my kiddo outdid my drawings. His were way better!


Seeing these creations firsthand reminded me of how many artists conributed their talents during the War Between the States. Not only did well-renowned painters of the time create magnificent works of art, but soldiers documented their experiences as well. Photography was a fairly new invention, and thousands of tintypes were made during the Civil War. But many artists contributed their talents, too, by conveying portraits, paintings, drawings, and scenerios during the war.


Not all drawings were professional, but most of them effectively expressed what each soldier was observing (and sometimes feeling) at the time. From First Bull Run (First Manassas) to Chickamauga to Appomatox, artists, both professional and ameteur, were on the scene to portray their experiences.


Now, a century and a half later, it’s easy to get caught up in the over-stimulating world of the internet and photoshopped images. Seeing freehand drawings created by soldiers who endured the horrors of the war is not only amazing, but also endearing.


I have seen some of these drawings firsthand. The most impressive is at the Graffiti House in Brandy Station, Virginia. It is an amazing, and somewhat spooky, insight into what the soldiers experienced during the war. The Graffiti House is a work in progress, because the Brandy Station Foundation is constantly uncovering more concealed art that has been buried under decades-old sheetrock and wallpaper.


I urge you to visit your local art gallery. So much of our rich history lies in the paintings and drawings of these institutions.





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