J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “January, 2021”

Another Rave Review

I recently received another review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Thank you so much, Pamela Loose, for your flattering review!

Review of A Beautiful Glittering Lie

This is a well written story with vivid descriptions of the lives of Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. The comparison between their lives and those of the people left behind is fascinating. 

Book Blitz Pack by Raine Reiter

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“A fantastic tale that weaves a spell of ancient mysticism and modern charm.” –Tim Marquitz, Author of the Demon Squad series, The Enemy of My Enemy series, and more.

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When Professor Elena Lukas returns to her cozy Pacific Northwest hometown with a broken heart, she’s plunged back into the fate she tried to escape. Like her mother and grandmother before her, Elena must now dedicate her life to a powerful ancient Lithuanian goddess. Although she is prepared to live as a priestess hiding in a contemporary tourist town, she arrives to find that a series of so-called animal attacks have terrorized her forest.With the help of a handsome detective from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elena uses her expertise in invasive and endangered species to identify that these are no normal animal attacks. The woods are stalked by a dark, mystical creature bent on ravaging the area in an attempt to quell its insatiable hunger. When her little sister goes missing, Elena realizes that the beast can only be vanquished if she is brave enough to face it in-person, embrace her identity as a high priestess, and expose her powers to the man she is growing feelings for.Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.


Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

The World of Takakush – Genus Magica Book One

Takakush, the dark contemporary fantasy is the story of Elena Lukas and her family of powerful hereditary priestesses. All four human women manifest a powerful Goddess and practice the old ways of pagan Lithuania. The great powers they possess come with costs.

Mina Lukas, the family matriarch, is the priestess of Zemyna, the Lithuanian Earth Goddess, representing birth, rebirth and renewal. She became a consecrated servant to the deity in her twenties. A world traveler, Mina speaks many languages. Her major gift is healing.

The proprietor of the Swan House Inn and Retreat in the Pacific Northwest, Mina pays bills, raises her teenage daughter, an emerging fire goddess, and cares for her aging mother, Regana, priestess to the goddess of the occult, fate and death.

The goddess gifted Regana with great powers, including transformation and prophecy. She seldom leaves her bedroom, preferring to wander the “Penumbra”, a magical dimension where she is young, powerful and vital. No-one knows the human woman’s actual age, but she appears to be well over one hundred. The old woman’s mental capacity is declining as her individuality merges with her goddess.

Fifteen-year-old Gabby Lukas is a postulate of Gabija, the Lithuanian goddess of the fire. Gabija’s gifted her novitiate with pyrokinesis, the ability to start fires at will. This dangerous gift is emerging and will take practice to control. Goddess Gabija’s nature is assertive, volatile and fiery. She has a temper. Gabby Lukas shares these traits.

Professor Elena Lukas believes she turned her back on her destiny until her fiance cancels their wedding. Broken-hearted, Elena retreats home to her eccentric family. At her birth, her family dedicated her to the Lithuanian Forest Goddess Mediena, but she hadn’t committed to the bond. Elena must decide if she will serve as a priestess and avatar, sealing her powers. Or turn her back and live a normal life. The goddess gifted Elena with a spiritual connection to nature and a raven familiar.

When Elena discovers a series of so-called animal attacks terrorizing her forest. With the help of a handsome detective from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elena uses her expertise in invasive and endangered species to identify that these are no normal animal attacks. The woods are stalked by a dark, mystical creature bent on ravaging the area to quell its insatiable hunger. 

Author Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.

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Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.

A fifth generation Washingtonian, Raine lives in the gloomy Pacific Northwest and wanders the rainforest with her silly spaniel, Luke.

Raine Reiter on the Web:
Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Amazon

Giveaway:

1st Prize – $10 Amazon Gift Card

2nd Prize – Paperback Copy of Takakush & a T-shirt

3rd Prize – An eBook Copy of Takakush


Entry Rules:
Enter your answers to the following questions in the Rafflecopter below:

Where did the Lukas family originally come from?

  • Zimbabwe
  • Jupiter
  • Lithuania
  • Antarctica

What is our hero, Elena Lukas’ occupation?

  • Butcher
  • Baker
  • Candlestick Maker
  • College Professor

The novel Takakush takes place in what region of the US?

  • The Pacific Northwest
  • The South
  • The Midwest
  • The Northeast

Or, grab it from here:http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/491d1d8b272/?

Guest Post by Kylo Walter

I frequently feature guest posts by various bloggers, just to give them an opportunity to get their articles published. Typically, I try to find articles that I think you would find interesting. This one is about car maintenance in winter. I hope you enjoy it.

Eight Easy Vehicle Maintenance Tips in Snow Fall

Now is an ideal time to pull your hands from over your eyes and grapple with the one thing we would prefer to concede: winter has arrived.

The consequence of winter is snowfall. If you have an ideal opportunity to get in a couple of repairs, the benefits will go far towards ensuring your investment until spring. If you cannot do them yourself, book an assistance arrangement closest to your area.

Right away, here are eight snowfall Car Maintenance Tips. They are quick, genuinely simple, and the best part is that they are economical.

1. Do not Make Compost in Your Car

As you tackle fall’s abundance on your yard, leave some energy for eliminating the leaves that discover their way into your vehicle. Leaves, twigs, and other natural issues can destroy with drains on your home—and the comparable on your car. When garbage develops in territories of your vehicle where water should run out, you can get holes or corrosion.

The air plenum close to the windshield is the right spot where this can occur. If you do have a sunroof, open it up and glance around in there, as well, from outside the vehicle. Sunroofs have channels to stream water that sneaks past the seals out for the count of the car. Plant gunk in there can plug those channels, making for wet headliners, wet rugs, or more awful.

2. Consider Getting Snow Tires

Snow tires are made of a softer elastic than all-season tires, allowing them to hold adaptability, even in the coldest of cold. Track designs on these tires likewise take into consideration remarkable grasp in the snow. However, snow tires are certifiably not an instant fix. They will not eliminate the chance of slipping and sliding in your vehicle; however, they do give more traction than standard tires.

“All-wheel drive is certainty motivating when you’re accelerating, yet it doesn’t help you when you’re slowing down and turning,” says Woody Rogers, overseer of item data for Tire Rack. “Winter tires are an absolute necessity in regions where the temperature routinely dips under 45 degrees,” Rogers adds. Snow tires give more traction when you are attempting to stop and turn on a cool asphalt.

3. Replace Your Wiper Blades

We need our blades to last more than they do. However, unavoidably, they wear out, break, and are delivered pointless. Heavy rain-snow is in transit, so check your edges to ensure they’re adaptable and still ready to clean your windshield. If they’re not, or blades, the off chance that they don’t, supplant your blades with new ones. Fortunately, blades are pretty economical, and you can get a good set for $30 or $40.  

4. Is Your Battery Fully Juiced?

Winter puts more weight on your battery, mostly if you leave your vehicle outside. Evade the sinking feeling of hearing nothing when you hit the start with a proactive check of your battery and charging framework now. As a rule, fix shops do not charge particularly to stack test your battery, and some vehicle parts stores will do it for nothing.

If you discover your battery’s going south, you can supplant it whenever it might suit you, rather than being helpless before whatever shop your dead vehicle’s been towed to. 

5. Don’t Roll Your Windows in Freezing Temperatures

Stand by until your vehicle has been warming for in any event 30 minutes before endeavoring to roll the windows, as doing so heretofore will cause water gathered in your window seals and the mechanical pieces of your entryway to freeze. If not permitted to defrost before working the windows, this can harm your vehicle, for example, defective windows or temperamental controls.

6. Check Your Fluid Levels

Working windshield wipers and a strong supply of wiper liquid will guarantee that you and your customers have visibility in the most exceedingly awful of snowstorms. Wiper liquid will get used rapidly if a vehicle is being driven during a snowstorm, for evident reasons.

Wiper sharp blades last a year. If you feel that it is the ideal opportunity for a substitution, it probably is the perfect opportunity for supplanting them. Contingent upon how terrible your winters are, you might need to prepare your vehicle(s) with winter-specific wipers. In conclusion, ensure the car(s) have wiper liquid with a low freezing point.

While we are regarding keeping liquids full, keeping the gas tank full is considerably more significant in the colder time of year. A full tank may forestall aggregated water in your fuel pump from freezing. It can likewise help you remain warm, as the driver can keep running the engine motor if they get stuck.

7. Add a Protective Layer

A polymer wax layer can make a boundary against street salt, grime, snow, and then some sleet. Couple with high-pressure vehicle washes after winter storms to flush away buildup in difficult to-arrive zones, such as wheels, underbody, and wheel wells.

8. Park in Shed

As the cold weather months approach, with them, comes the danger of extreme winter climate. While snow and icy streets can spell catastrophe for drivers, these cruel climate conditions can harm vehicles also.

If you will, in general, stop your vehicle on the street or uncovered in your garage, you likely are certifiably not a stranger to the dull daily schedule of scratching your car clean. This can be incredibly irritating when you are late, or you need to get someplace in a rush. Peephole driving or freeing just enough from your windshield to have the option to see a part of the street is something that numerous chilly climate drivers know about.

Putting resources into metal garages or carports can help protect your vehicles’ value and enhance their life span, setting aside your money.

Conclusion

Giving your special vehicle consideration in the colder time of year is essential. If you have not to get ready for your vehicle for winter yet, make sure to focus on it for your wellbeing and the security of those offering the ways to you. Readiness and upkeep will set aside your cash over the long haul. Since your vehicle is frequently the second most costly buy you make, winterizing your car is an investment.

Cover Reveal – The Right Kind of Wrong

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He’s dangerous, damaged and doomed but he’s hers…

With no name, no medical history, multiple gunshot wounds and enough security to rival the Prime Minister’s, Dr Aria Dubey’s new patient is something more than she asked for. And everything she might just need.

Intelligence Officer Karan Bhatnagar has only vengeance on his mind. Nothing will stop him from seeking justice for his murdered parents. 

Not even almost losing his own life. And certainly not the doctor who healed but couldn’t save him. The woman he can’t afford to fall for. And the killer’s next target.

There’s only one thing left to do…find the killer and end him before he ends them. Will Karan and Aria risk everything for a love that is all kinds of wrong? And yet, is the right kind of wrong.

Releasing on 26th January!

About the Author:

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Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter

A Beautiful Glittering Lie on Librarybub

I recently advertised my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, on Librarybub. I strongly advise other authors to participate in this program in order to gain excellent exposure for your book!

During the week before Christmas, 2551 librarians saw my book. Here are the links:

My book was also featured in press releases on these outlets:

CBS

https://markets.financialcontent.com/wral/news/read/40702916/thrilling_teen_fiction_highlighted_in_librarybub_selection_for_december

NBC

https://www.wfmj.com/story/42988409/thrilling-teen-fiction-highlighted-in-librarybub-selection-for-december

I’m hoping lots of libraries will pick up my book during their next purchasing round. Thank you, everyone, for your continued support!

Woodworking 101: How to Get Started

For the new year, I wanted to share an article about something near and dear to my heart. My dad loved woodworking. He was very talented, and created many beautiful pieces, including furniture, sculptures, carvings. etc. Here are a few pictures of some of his creations.

My main character, David Summers, who appears in all of the books in the Renegade Series, is modeled after my dad, in that he has a passion for woodworking.

This article is a guest post courtesy of Mr. Carlos Trejo. Thank yo so much, Mr. Trejo, for your contribution!

Did you know that wood was the first drawing material? In the form of charcoal, it was the first artistic medium. An example of cave art, using charred wood, at Rouffignac in France dates back 13,000 years!

Woodworking can be a wonderful hobby, but knowing how to cut wood, make doors and build stairs can also save you a ton of money. If you want to get started, however, you need to do it the right way. Woodworking is a skill like any other, and a learned one at that. 

In past generations, many people were lucky enough to have a parent, grandparent, or trusted uncle who knew their way around a woodworking shop. Some even remember taking shop in high school, learning to make practical things like toolboxes and the like. But not everyone was blessed with that kind of early exposure, but you can make up for the lost time and learn the skills you need to complete home projects like a pro. Here are some key things you need to know to get started with your new woodworking hobby. 

Woodworking Basics: What You Need to Know

Where to Start

If you are ready to get started with your new woodworking hobby, you probably have a lot of questions. So how can you get started safely, and what do you need to know as you set up your new woodworking room? 

Even before you start building anything, you will need some basic materials to get started on your woodworking adventure. Many people choose to set up their workshops in a garage or storage shed, and adapting those spaces to a new use will require some basic supplies. 

Lining the walls of a garage or storage shed with pegboard, for instance, will give you plenty of space to hang hand tools and power tools. You can even add a cord spool to keep all those extension cords neat and tidy.  

You will obviously need electric power for your new woodworking shop, so make sure there are enough outlets available. If you have any doubts, an electrical upgrade may be in order; the last thing you want is an overloaded circuit that could become a fire hazard

You will also need some basic knowledge, even if you plan to take a DIY approach to learn woodworking. If you have a trusted woodworker friend or neighbor, reach out to them for help. If not, check into woodworking classes at the local community college or extension center; these low-cost courses are a great way to learn the basics. And there is always the internet, especially the many detailed woodworking tutorials on YouTube and other video channels.

What Kinds of Tools Do You Need?

As you build out your new woodworking shop, you will need to outfit your new space with the right tools. Building a woodworking shop from the ground up can be an expensive endeavor. It is a good idea to begin with the must-have tools, those go-to items you will need again and again. Regardless of what you are building, here are some essential tools you will want in your woodworking shop from the start. 

  • Circular saw
  • Nail gun
  • Hammer
  • Cordless screwdriver
  • An assortment of nails, screws, and other fasteners
  • Chisels
  • Hand clamps
  • Power drills

Once you have the basics of your woodworking shop laid out, you will need a secure place to keep all those items. Hopefully, you have already lined the walls of your space with pegboard. So all you need are some hanging hooks to keep most of the items in place. You can also use tool storage drawers to hold all those tiny materials, as well as smaller hand tools. 

Now that you have the essential tools taken care of, it’s time to look at other tools that will allow you to expand the number of projects you take on. Some of these power tools can be pricy, but if they allow you to turn a contractor-led project into a DIY one they could pay for themselves in a matter of weeks. Here are some smart large form factor tools to consider for your new woodworking shop. 

  • Lathe
  • Jointer
  • Table saw

In addition to those larger tools, you might also want to add a jigsaw and a reciprocating saw to your woodworking repertoire. Both of these tools are highly versatile and can be used on dozens of home improvement projects. 

As you continue with your woodworking hobby, you will probably find other tools you would like to have. If you plan to do some outdoor home improvements, you will probably want cordless hand tools at your disposal. Including drills, screwdrivers, nail guns, and the like. You may want to choose a single brand and stick with it since the charging stations should be compatible with one another. And while you are at it, look for a dedicated space where you can set up a charging station for all those tools, so they will be ready whenever you need them. 

Woodworking Safety Tips

Woodworking can be a fulfilling hobby and a great way to save money on home improvement projects. For the cost of hiring a single contractor, you can build out an entire workshop and do the work yourself. 

Even so, it is important to put safety first whenever you are working with power tools, and protecting yourself should always be your most important consideration. Here are some essential safety tips you should never ignore:

  • Goggle up – eye protection is vital when working with power tools, so always wear a pair of quality goggles in your woodworking shop
  • Wear a mask – Cutting wood creates fine particles, and those particles can damage your lungs. Always wear a mask when you are sawing, screwing, or drilling wood.
  • Never disable safety devices – Table saws, circular saws, and other power tools come with guards and other safety devices built-in. Those guards are there for a reason, and you should never disable or tamper with them. 
  • Protect your ears – Power tools generate a lot of noise, so protect your ears with foam plugs or don specialized headphones to dampen the sound and prevent long-term hearing damage.
  • Check cords for damage before and after every use. It is easy to nick a cord while cutting wood, so examine extension cords for signs of damage before and after every project. 
  • Wear proper shoes or safety boots – Protecting your feet is essential, so leave the sandals and flip flops behind when you enter your woodworking shop. 
  • Read the manuals carefully before using any new piece of equipment. Make sure you know where the emergency stop button is located, and always read the safety precautions before getting started. 

Good Woodworking Projects for Beginners

Now that you have your woodworking shop set up and all your tools have been hung up, you are probably anxious to get started. But you will want to start slowly, with simple projects you can complete quickly. 

As you gain confidence and experience, you can ramp up the complexity of the home improvement projects you take on, but for now, here are some easy woodworking ideas to get you started. 

  • Build your child a wagon.  A wood wagon is relatively easy to build, and it requires only the most basic of tools. 
  • Give yourself a great place to sit. If you love those stylish Adirondack chairs but not the high price tag, you can build your own, all in your new woodworking shop. With basic supplies like a circular saw, a few pieces of wood, and a couple of dozen nails and fasteners, you can give yourself a comfortable place to sit when your project is done. 
  • A workbench. Having a workbench in your woodworking shop will come in handy, so why not build your own? Building a workbench is the perfect first woodworking project for beginners, you can get it done in a single afternoon.
  • Make a set of sawhorses. This is another woodworking project that will add to the usefulness of your new shop. Every carpenter needs a set of sturdy sawhorses, and the ones you make will be vastly better than any you can buy. 

Recycling/Reusing Past Materials

As you get started with your new woodworking hobby, you will probably find yourself taking on lots of home improvement projects. Once you have your woodworking shop set up, you will view your home through a different set of eyes. You will find all kinds of things that suddenly need an upgrade. 

Every one of those woodworking projects will generate some level of waste material. Recycling those materials is the environmentally responsible thing to do. There are many ways to make your projects as green as possible. 

If you have usable wood and other construction materials left over, you can donate them to a good cause. Habitat for Humanity runs a number of resale stores around the country, and that is a good place to start. You can also check with local charities to see what they need and where you can donate. 

You can also reuse smaller pieces of wood and leftover construction supplies for your future projects. Those small pieces of wood, for instance, can be glued together to create a wonderful little birdhouse. So you can share your newfound woodworking skills with your avian friends. 

No matter what your goal is, learning some basic woodworking skills is a smart thing to do. And now that you know how to get started, you can begin your new hobby with confidence. 

Originally Posted on Porch.com

Happy New Year!

While going through some old papers today, I came across this interesting article. I hope you enjoy it! (I had to post the original article because I jammed my finger last night and am having a hard time typing!)

(Article courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Pvt. Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452, SCV, & Pres. Jefferson Davis Chapter, MOSB, volume 35, issue no. 5, May 2011 ed.)

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