J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “April, 2021”

My Feature on Shepherd

I was recently featured on a new website called Shepherd, which has just launched. I was approached by Mr. Ben Fox to be a contributor. Thank you, Ben, for giving me the opportunity to share with your readers my book, Horses in Gray, as well as my favorite Civil War novels. Here is the article:

The Best Civil War Novels

Who am I?

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of only a few female Civil War authors, and uniquely describes the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner, and A Rebel Among Us, recipient of the 2017 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. These books tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Ms. Hawkins is a member of Pikes Peak WritersRocky Mountain Fiction Writers, the International Women’s Writing Guild, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter.


I wrote…

Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses

By J.D.R. Hawkins

Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses

What is my book about?

Never before has there been such a comprehensive look at Confederate military horses in the Civil War and their lives before, during, and after battle. Why particular breeds or colors were chosen for specific tasks, what the life expectancy of military horses was and why they died, and the distinct challenges of caring for horses in wartime conditions are all covered. Chapters focus on how they were acquired by their owners, their lineages, the stories behind their names, and the ways in which they were immortalized. Robert E. Lee’s Traveller, Stonewall Jackson’s Little Sorrel, Forrest’s thirty horses, Ashby’s Tom Telegraph, and many more are included in this must-read history.

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The Books I Picked & Why

Gone With the Wind

By Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind

Why this book?

This is one of my all time favorites! The book was so popular when it was first published that it was quickly picked up by Hollywood and made into a movie. The film is a classic, even though disclaimers have recently been attached to it. Gone With the Wind won the 1939 Academy Award for best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best actress Vivian Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara, and best supporting actress, Hattie McDaniel, who was the first African American to win an Oscar.


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Cold Mountain

By Charles Frazier

Cold Mountain

Why this book?

Like Gone With the Wind, this book was also made into an award-winning movie. I find the novel interesting because of the way Charles Frasier wrote it. There are no quotation marks in the book! I’m not sure why he chose to write it like that, but it’s interesting, nevertheless.


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The Widow of the South

By Robert Hicks

The Widow of the South

Why this book?

I really like this book because it tells the poignant tale of Carrie McGavock, who was forced to deal with the Civil War when it appeared in her front yard. This is based on a true story. Carrie was so compassionate that she buried the solders, both northern and southern, on her property. The cemetery at her home, Carnton Plantation, is still there. I had the opportunity to meet the author, Robert Hicks, at a book signing, and visit Carnton Plantation. The home served as a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin, and bloodstains still remain on the wooden floors.


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March

By Geraldine Brooks

March

Why this book?

This book is not as well known, but the author, Geraldine Brooks, did an amazing job in describing the war. She took an interesting spin by writing a side story to the famous novel, Little Women. Interestingly, Little Women was written by Louisa May Alcott, who served as a Union nurse during the Civil War.


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Shiloh

By Shelby Foote

Shiloh

Why this book?

This novel was written by Shelby Foote, who gained notoriety when he appeared on Ken Burns’ documentary series, the Civil War. Mr. Foote is probably better known for his trilogy of the Civil War, which is narrative nonfiction. However, he did write fiction as well, and this book is one example.


https://shepherd.com/best-books/civil-war-novels

Guest Post by Amy Lara

I frequently feature guest posts by various writers, and here is another article that I’m happy to share. Those of you who know me are familiar with my love of plants. Over the years, I have worked for several floral shops, greenhouses and garden centers. I absolutely love plants! In fact, if you entered my house, you’d think you were in a greenhouse. I have over 100 plants, and that number has been downsized in the past year! Houseplants add so much to interior design, as well as providing a healthy environment within the home.

Best Indoor Houseplants For Home Interior Decor

Many of us live with smaller indoor spaces, it is a reason the popularity of houseplants is on the rise everyday. Bringing them into our homes helps to decorate homes in an easy way and also it creates an oasis of peace after a long and stressful day. As the concrete jungle(City) closes around us, we can create our own living green jungles to retreat to.

House plants have a large group of different advantages as well. They look incredibly intermixed with inside design, can improve indoor air quality, are less demanding than different pets, and some of them will likewise create foods grown from the ground edibles. Get some of the best household plants in the USA for your home. 

Azalea

Planted indoors, azalea detonates with dynamically colorful blossoms in a spring display that makes the bush an eternity top choice. So it’s just normal that customers feel enticed by the indoor, flower vendor’s azalea available to be purchased at nearby stores. Notwithstanding, the fine print is that, except if you take extraordinary consideration, the gathering won’t keep going long. To begin with, indoor azalea likes it cool and sticky, a blend it very well may be precarious to make misleadingly. Additionally, indoor azalea needs marginally acidic soil, implying that except if you repot it, vinegar should be added to all the water you give the plant. Note that indoors, azalea demands clammy (not wet) soil consistently. 

Wandering Jew

A vining growth propensity—that is a blessing and a revile for the inchplant, otherwise called the meandering jew. In a hanging bushel, the unmistakable, purple-and-silver-striped leaves tenderly course down, shimmering in the light and looking lovely. Yet, after some time, as the ringlets get longer and the leaves get less and farther in the middle, meandering jew starts to look wiped out, regardless of whether it’s flourishing. There’s only one approach to keep the plant putting its best self forward: You need to squeeze back the growing tips, and you need to do that again and again to stay up with a plant whose growth speed regularly makes it an obtrusive species indoors. The uplifting news? Past its curiously requesting prepping necessities, meandering jew needn’t bother with some other extra, strange consideration. 

Foliage plants

In the aroid family, which has given a scope of enduring houseplants, most unmistakable are the philodendrons. These are attractive tropical American plants, for the most part climbers, with alluring rough leaves, heart-formed, and regularly cut into flaps. Monstera deliciosa, or Philodendron pertusum, the Swiss cheddar plant, has conspicuous, polished, punctured leaves sliced to the edges.

Succulents

Succulents are exceptionally famous with regards to indoor plants since they are almost indestructible and make a terrific masterpiece for your tabletops. They are basically illness free and low support plants requiring extremely less water settling on them an ideal decision for indoor plants.

Boston Fern

This lavish, verdant plant can give your home genuine wilderness vibes—as long as you can effectively copy the growing states of its first home, the tropical and subtropical rainforests. Without warmer temperatures, high humidity, and loads of sifted light, a miserable greenery will shed its leaves. You can use Your Metal Garages too for your small garden. Luckily, in case you’re capable, there are approaches to fulfill the plant’s necessities without forfeiting your home’s solace. To start with, set your plant by an east or west-bound window that gets a lot of roundabout daylight. On the off chance that conceivable, pick an area almost a warmth vent that can be shut and opened depending on the situation: While the plant grows in a moderate 65 to 75 degrees during the day, a 10-degree dunk in the evening forestalls parasite growth. At last, run a humidifier close by to hold the air around the plant back from drying out (particularly in winter).

Dumb Canes

The dumb canes, of the family Dieffenbachia, show up in various alluring species. They are attractive tropical foliage plants typically with variegated leaves; they endure disregard and flourish even in dry rooms. The Chinese evergreens, of the family Aglaonema, are beefy tropical Asian spices of moderate growth, with rugged leaves frequently bearing shimmering or colorful examples; they are solid and are open minded toward indoor conditions. Individuals from Scindapsus, prominently known as pothos, or ivy-arums, are tropical climbers from the Malaysian rainstorm territory; their variegated leaves are normally small in the adolescent stage. They do well in warm and surprisingly overheated rooms. The harmony lilies (not a genuine lily), of the variety Spathiphylla, are simple growing, vivacious tropical spices shaping bunches; they have green foliage and a progression of flowerlike leaves (spathes), generally white. Types of Anthurium, a significant number of which, for example, the flamingo blossom, have colorful spathes, do best in damp conditions. Caladium’s tropical American tuberous spices produce delicate looking yet colorful foliage; they keep shockingly well whenever shielded from chills and stormy drafts.

Miniature Roses

If these valuable blooms will not appear to last over seven days indoors, that is really on the grounds that they aren’t intended to do as such. Regardless of whether it returns home in a pot, it commonly should be moved outside inside about fourteen days to flourish. Something else, to imitate outside growing conditions for this high-support “houseplant” would really require a small multitude of apparatuses: a grow light to give 5+ long periods of direct light every day, a humidifier to keep the air soggy while the roots stay get enough to ward dry decay, and a little fan to make sufficient air flow. Should you see a positive outcome with the arrangement, add some sluggish delivery or water-solvent manure throughout the spring and summer growing season. At last, when you’re prepared to adapt it to the outside, leave the pot outside for seven days so it can become accustomed to its new natural conditions before transplant—at that point watch it flourish and grow rapidly to full estimate.

Areca palm

Areca palm is a typical indoor plant broadly used to add a dazzling green tone to your insides giving your home a tropical touch. It grows well in splendid backhanded light and henceforth ought to be kept next to the window or balcony entryway. Small pruned palms are incredible for adorning your work area space. The areca palm decorated with rice lights adjacent to the couch changes that piece of the room into a comfortable corner.

About the Author

Amy Lara 

Amy writes for Home Decor, Lifestyle, and Real estate-related topics additionally; she has a passion for the recreation and design industry for more than ten years. Amy has become an experienced Redesign in this industry. Her goal is to help people with her vast knowledge to assist them with her best suggestions about different: Prefab Metal Buildings, Metal Carports, Metal sheds, Metal Garages.

New Developments

This past week, I received some recognition, which I would like to share. The first is this: I was chosen as the winner of the 2021 Best of Horn Lake Awards in the category of Book Publishers.

According to the award committee: “The Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. 

“The Best of Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. The selection process does not include nominations, voting, contests or surveys. The Award Program uses only empirical data supplied by independent third-parties as input into our award algorithm.

“Selection as a 2021 Award Winner is determined by the marketing success of your organization in your local community and business category. The Best of Horn Lake Award Program uses information gathered internally in conjunction with third-party data as a part of its selection process.”

The second is this: I was chosen to be featured on a new website called Shepherd. My book, Horses in Gray, is featured on the site. Here is the link: https://shepherd.com/best-books/civil-war-novels

It has been a crazy week in so many ways. Please follow and share! Thank you so much.

Guest Post by Patrick Johnsson

Here is another guest post by author Patrick Johnson in regard to the advantages of using steel sheds vs. wooden sheds. My husband recently built two small wooden sheds, which are placed in our backyard and serve us well. We chose wood because we live in the mountains and our house backs to an open space, so it gets very windy at times. We decided wood was more sturdy because of this, but perhaps, the following article will sway you differently.

Benefits of Using Steel Sheds Over Wooden Sheds

Are you looking for a high-quality canopy that will protect your assets from the weather for years without breaking the bank? Maybe you should consider a metal canopy. Most people think of sheds as wooden buildings, but metal sheds are an excellent choice, especially for backyard storage, garages, and other structures. 

As garden sheds became increasingly popular in the UK, there was also controversy over the type of garden sheds that offered the best value to their owners. Wood and metal sheds have overgrown in this competition and remain the most popular choice for those who are looking to purchase additional storage space for their household.

This guide shows the main benefits of buying a metal shed. There are endless options for repair shops for sale in the market, but you can save your valuable time and money considering the following benefits.

What are the Benefits of using steel sheds Over wooden Sheds?

Metal sheds are one of the most popular solutions for people looking to build up extra storage space in their homes. Our scales are high-quality metal scales made of durable, high-quality metal with a protective coating.

These scales are purchased directly from the manufacturer, so they can be tailored to suit your needs. Here are some of the benefits of steel buildings.

  • Durable

Although the steel structures is a light metal, it is solid and durable. Steel Building’s durability is their selling point, and, unlike wooden structures, they are almost unbeatable against fire, moisture, rot, and termite damage. Their high resistance is even helpful for the plastic canopies in their main load-bearing structures.

Metals don’t break easily and will last for many years. Just make sure they have a proper drainage system and that you can enjoy them for over a decade.

  • Require Less Maintenance

Metal roofing coating galvanizes and makes it rust-resistant. This coating slows down the start of the corrosion process and reduces its effect on the metal sheet. Choosing a metal garden structure for your garden will save you a lot of cost and maintenance time.

  • Metal Sheds Are Eco-friendly

Metal and steel warehouse is environmentally friendly and has many benefits for the environment. Every metal building component can be recycled and made from recycled products before or after consumption. 

These scales do not exert any pressure on the environment. If the owners decide to dispose of the warehouse, they receive scrap metal into various items such as tools, fixtures, and lighting.

  • Cost-Effective

Affordable and cheap are the main advantages of metal sheds over their wooden counterparts. If you have a budget constraint for the same price as a woodshed, you can get an enormous metal shed.

Even high-quality metal roofs are faster to build, easier to install, and require less building materials than wooden or plastic roofs and therefore less costly.

  • Easy To Transport

Steel sheds are usually not as heavy as wood sheds. It can make it easier to transport your canopy to another location if you need to move it.

  • Last Longer Than Woods

Steel is often cited as one of the most robust building materials in the world. So if you are making a metal-protected structure, it should last a very long time. 

Quality metal supports are much better than wood in terrible weather conditions, and you don’t have to worry too much about rot, warping, or termite problems that can occur on any wooden structure. With a well-constructed steel shed, this could quickly become the next family heirloom to pass on to the next generation.

  • Easy To Carry

Usually, these warehouse buildings are available in lightweight packaging, which facilitates installation via standard doors. Most suppliers offer metal products in flat packaging, which means you can easily manipulate them around the house or in very narrow gardens.

It also means you can move the entire warehouse yourself, which means minimal stress when building.

  • Longer Warranty

Thanks to the long-term function of metal, manufacturers, and sellers can provide buyers with very long guarantees. A ten to twenty-year warranty is commonplace in the UK, especially when choosing a reputable manufacturer’s large metal roof.

They can purchase the service because they are aware of the quality and durability of the metal. And for the best long-term results, you should consider purchasing a galvanized steel roof.

  • Foundation is Not Required

Another significant advantage of steel sheds is that they do not require any foundation most of the time. The reason this is important is that building foundations are expensive and time-consuming. Foundations usually need professionals to build them. 

All you have to do is use the level to find a flat part of the floor and then cool off. It’s that simple. Some of the larger steel canopies may require a foundation because they require a solid foundation to support them.

  • Fire Resistant

When choosing a garden building, an important point is the fire risk it causes to your household. This metal is refractory and requires very high temperatures to melt.

You can be sure that all items that are stored are safe at all times. Wood sheds are much more flammable when exposed to fire, and plastic sheds can deform and melt even at low temperatures.

  • Easy Makeover

For repairs, paint a steel canopy can easily in any color you desire. When shopping online, you can usually choose a color scheme before processing your order.

Paint is much more resistant to metal than wood. The wood needs to be cared for and repainted every year, while the metal only requires about five years of attention.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, protection, and maintenance, this warehouse-type never fails and is worth more than the money.

  • Security

In terms of security, steel warehouses can provide better protection against thieves. Unlike some quality lumber or sheds, metal canopies usually have reinforced hinges that prevent forced entry.

The same goes for doors and walls. Every extra inch is essential security for any thief or criminal.

  • Build-in Ventilation

Steel sheds are usually available with active or passive built-in ventilation systems. These can be simple fans and openings in the roof or the walls.

Ventilation is essential as it prevents condensation from building up in your metal garden shed, thus protecting your belongings from possible damage. Fan-driven systems are even more efficient but more expensive.

Conclusion

These are just some of the main advantages of metal scales over other scales. In terms of cost-effectiveness, protection, and maintenance, this warehouse-type never fails and is worth more than the money.

Although wooden canopies are much more adaptable and more suited to certain habits, metal canopies still have different uses. Here are some great services for metal scales.

Rave Review for Horses in Gray

This review appeared a while back in the Sons of Confederate Veterans magazine, the Confederate Veteran. I neglected to post it on my blog at the time it was published, so here it is now.

Guest Post by Mike Brown

Spring planting is right around the corner. It’s one of my favorite times of year. Because I’m a serious plant person, I look forward to planting season, and to designing my own landscape. This article offers an interesting alternative to landscaping. Thank you, Mike Brown, for your contribution.

Tips to Create a Mediterranean Garden Escape for Your Home

Don’t you just love going to enjoy holidays and staying in a marvelous villa or hotel that boasts glamorous Mediterranean décor, with beautiful large gardens and open-plan living spaces, with some simplistic, nature-inspired accessories that create beachy, relaxing vibes? You can get this auspicious feeling at your home too. By decorating your yard or garden in the Mediterranean style, you can enjoy that holiday feeling at your home.  You can add colors to your garden and add a bit refreshing feel, let’s get together with a few ideas about how you can overhaul and update your garden with a Mediterranean style. 

Don’t forget succulents

Desert plants and succulents are normal highlights in the Mediterranean garden, outgrowing old stone dividers and rockwork. In the event that you have a rock hole between your home and your clearing, a segment of sempervivums or different succulents will mollify the line wonderfully.

Water Features and Pergolas

Usefulness is colossally significant with regards to Mediterranean gardens and insurance from components, through cooling water and shade, is an unquestionable requirement. On the Mediterranean coast, numerous gardens need shelter from the immediate sun, so you will probably see a ton of coverings, pergolas, and water highlights. Pergolas work really hard regarding sheltering gardens from solid breezes and, if your garden is neglected, they also offer protection. 

Assuming you have space, pergolas that are hung in brilliant climbing plants, like ipomoea and jasmine, are an unquestionable requirement. Yet, in the event that you have a smaller garden, you might need to consider utilizing small passageway entrances, or even only some high fencing, for the look. 

Use terracotta planters

Think about dazzling pink or red geraniums tumbling over old terracotta or stone pots, or if you’ve restricted space, connect some smaller terracotta grower to a south-bound divider and fill them with the following dry season darlings that will not need perpetual watering. 

Then again, make an element out of tremendous Grecian urns deliberately positioned in borders or as stand-alone highlights toward the finish of walkways or in the focal point of small courtyards.

Relaxed Outdoor Dining

In the Mediterranean, it is right around a criminal offense to not have an outdoor dining region. Imparting food to loved ones is something that sits at the core of long-standing Mediterranean practice and while we might not have as great a climate as in the Med, large numbers of us actually treasure summer BBQs and unwinding in the garden on long summer nights. 

You ought to, in a perfect world, pick an exemplary dining set. Cast aluminum functions admirably as it is climate safe so can be forgotten about over winter. In the event that you don’t have space for an enormous dining set, a small bistro set will work comparably well and regularly is comprised of simply an end table and seats. Assuming you have greater space, ensure that there aren’t any segments of your garden which can be delighted in – Mediterranean gardens regularly have numerous sorts of seating dabbed around ways and walkways.

Consider gravel or cool tiles

Gravel gardens are ordinary in the Mediterranean and in this country, the gravel surface goes about as a perpetual mulch that will help forestall seed seedlings and monitors dampness. 

Pick a sunny, sheltered spot and set up the dirt, raking it level and then spreading 5cm (2in) gravel over the surface. 

Plant sparingly – don’t cover the gravel surface with plants. They can be set to a great extent and may be adorned with stone or terracotta planters or an old wooden or stone seat.

Create shade

Any Mediterranean garden deserving at least some respect should offer shade during the warmth of the day. Consider how you will accomplish that normally. Maybe develop climbers that adoration heat, for example, grapevine and trumpet plant, over a pergola with customary seating under. Use Carports or Metal Garages for the shade and shelters. 

Sociable seating

The way into all-climate garden furniture is strong and it merits putting resources into a respectable weatherproof mix set. Their Swinging Day Bed has been especially mainstream. Decorate daybeds and outdoor couches with beautiful adorned blankets and pads.

Plant selection for the Mediterranean garden

As we already mentioned, perennials succeed in a Mediterranean environment, as simple to develop in dry and helpless soil conditions. 

A Med garden is, most importantly, a fragrant garden: sage, thyme, rosemary will satisfy both your smell and your taste buds, as you can utilize them in the kitchen… They’re not tall plants, and they are ideal for edging strips or in a little stone garden, on very much depleted and not very muggy soil. You can likewise join them by succulents, similar to sedums with their innumerable assortments, or aeoniums and aloe plants whose delightful flowers will make a superb winter adornment.

Citrus trees: If the climate permits you, set out to plant orange, lemon or tangerine trees – ideally close to the house, to shield them from the virus winds. Envision opening your windows and letting the exquisite fragrance of orange trees attack your room during blossoming season…

Oleanders make glorious fences: They bear loads of flowers in changed tones: from white to fuchsia and everything in the middle, in addition to some more – an eminent range available to you. An extra benefit is that the blossoming season may last as long as a half year. 

The silver-green foliage and the turned trunk of olive trees are, obviously, the Mediterranean landscape’s brand name. Despite commonly acknowledged thoughts, olive trees can develop basically anyplace, as certain species can withstand temperatures well under nothing. One thing to recollect: olive trees don’t endure stale waters; very much depleted, pebbly, light soil, just as a most extreme measure of sunlight, are fundamental for their endurance. During the initial three to five years you should be cautious about ice; covering the roots in the colder time of year is a decent precautionary measure in cool climates.

Release Day Blitz – Bovine Tricks

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About the Book:

Lady Annabelle Trask is missing. Unfortunately, MISix doesn’t know if they’re looking for a woman, a cow, or something in between!

Is it real or is it fantasy? That’s the question MISix Agent Mathilda Honoria Spencer struggles with on her latest assignment. Tasked with discovering the whereabouts of Lady Annabelle Trask, Tillie is thrust into the world of Hucows and other human animals. It’s a world that raises serious questions about sexual fetishes, intentional physical enhancements, and even pornography, but in the end, Tillie has only one mission—to rescue and return Lady Annabelle to the Queen. However, as she and her partner, Agent Abdul Ali, attempt to find Lady Annabelle and keep her out of the clutches of terrorists bent on destroying the monarchy, they must also wrestle with their feelings for each other. Can they draw the line between their duty to the Crown and their relationship with one another? Or must they embark on separate paths to continue to serve the Queen?


Book Links:
Goodreads * XtasyBooks

Read an Excerpt from Bovine Tricks

Tillie’s face reddened. Suddenly, she felt quite queasy. She started to speak, but her superior held up his hand. 

“There’s more. This is a human-animal auction. It is not limited to Hucows. There will be Hupigs, Huhorses, and maybe even, Husheep. Fortunately, you are to focus on the cows. That is where we believe Lady Annabelle will be found.”

Tillie gazed at him. “What if she isn’t there? What if she has changed…er, species?”

“I suggest you cross that bridge when you come to it.”

“And what am I to do if I find Lady Annabelle? How do I extract her?”

“You purchase her at the auction. You have been given sufficient funds to bid up to one million Euros.”

Tillie’s eyes grew wide. “Criminy. That much?” 

Lord Ryder nodded. “These cows are well-trained and well-treated. The females are pampered—weekly manicures, hair treatments, and such. A happy cow is a happy milker, as they say.”

Tillie’s eyes widened. “Lady Annabelle could be there willingly? She is not necessarily a captive, forced be a Hucow?”

“Exactly. And that is our dilemma. While the Queen hopes that she is there willingly, several factors are at play. Lady Annabelle may have freely joined a farm to become a Hucow, or she may just have danced on the wild side and somehow wound up at auction. In the alternative, she may have been kidnapped and forced to become a Hucow, or she may have been forced and now enjoys the lifestyle. There are all sorts of reasons she could be there and all sorts of reasons she prefers to stay. Our only mission is to get her out.”

Tillie frowned. “Why would they put her up for auction? Isn’t that a way to get rid of unproductive or uncooperative cows?”

“Not necessarily. Some farms simply raise and train Hucows, then sell them. Given their going rate, it is a lucrative business. A great way to supplement the income from a regular farm. Human cows bring much more lucre than actual farm-raised cows.”

Tillie sighed. “For just one day, I would like to forget that there is a whole lot of people engaged in activities that far surpass my imagination.”

Lord Ryder’s mouth curved up into a wry smile. “Then we would be out of a job.”

Tillie tapped her jaw, considering. “You know, this might be a better job for the Yanks. They are a kinky bunch. I believe there was a recent study that found them to be the kinkiest country in the world.”


Lord Ryder snorted. “If you were the Queen, would you want that bunch of kinksters to know your relatives are participating in like behavior? Why their intelligence services would find a way to use it against us for decades.” He shook his head. “No. This we do alone.”



About Seelie Kay:

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Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine. 

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Seelie on the Web:
Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Author’s Amazon Page

Confederate Heritage Month

April has been signified as Confederate Heritage Month by many Southern states. The month is significant to the Southern cause in that the Civil War started and, for the most part, ended in April. In recognition, memorial services are held at Confederate cemeteries throughout the month. I have attended several of these ceremonies. They are poignant and beautiful remembrances of ancestors who suffered and died to protect their homes.

There were many atrocities that took place during the war. One of the worst was the conditions of Confederate POW camps. My novel, A Rebel Among Us, specifically discusses the conditions that took place at Elmira Prison Camp toward the end of the war.

PRIVATIONS, SUFFERING AND  DELIBERATE CRUELTIES 

“Starvation, literal starvation, was doing its  deadly work. So depleted and poisoned was the  blood of many of Lee’s men from insufficient and  unsound food that a slight wound which would  probably not have been reported at the beginning  of the war would often cause blood-poison,  gangrene, and death. 

Yet the spirits of these brave men seemed to rise as their condition grew more desperate . . . it was a harrowing but not uncommon sight to see those hungry men gather the wasted corn from under the  feet of half-fed horses, and  wash and parch and eat it to satisfy in some measure their craving for food.”  

General John B. Gordon,  

“Reminiscences of the Civil War” 

Elmira Prison Camp, Elmira, New York

“Winter poured down its snows and its sleets  upon Lee’s shelterless men in the trenches. Some of  them burrowed into the earth. Most of them  shivered over the feeble fires kept burning along the  lines. Scanty and thin were the garments of these  heroes. Most of them were clad in mere rags.  

Gaunt famine oppressed them every hour. One  quarter of a pound of rancid bacon and a little meal  was the daily portion assigned to each man by the  rules of the War Department. But even this  allowance failed when the railroads broke down and  left the bacon and the flour and the mean piled up  beside the track in Georgia and the Carolinas. One sixth of the daily ration was the allotment for a  considerable time, and very often the supply of  bacon failed entirely. 

At the close of the year, Grant had one hundred  and ten thousand men. Lee had sixty-six thousand  on his rolls, but this included men on detached duty,  leaving him barely forty thousand soldiers to defend  the trenches that were then stretched out forty  miles in length from the Chickahominy to Hatcher’s  Run.”

Henry Alexander White, “Life of Robert E.  Lee.” 

“When their own soldiers were suffering such  hardships as these in the field, the Confederate  leaders made every effort to exchange men so that  helpless prisoners of war would not suffer in  anything like equal measure, offering even to send  back prisoners without requiring an equivalent.  Hence, the charges brought against the Confederate  government of intentional ill-treatment of prisoners  of war are not supported by the facts. 

[In the South] the same quantity and quality of rations were given to prisoners and guards; but that  variety in food could not be had or transported on  the broken-down railway system of a non manufacturing country, which system could not or  did not provide sufficient clothes and food even for the Confederate soldiers in the field. 

[The] control of the prisons in the North was turned over by Secretary  Stanton and the vindictive and partisan men (who  were later responsible also for the crimes of  Reconstruction) to the lowest element of an alien  population and to Negro guards of a criminal type,  and such men as President Lincoln, Seward,  McClellan, and the best people in the North were  intentionally kept in ignorance of conditions in  Northern prisons while officially furnished with  stories as to “the deliberate cruelties” practiced in  the South.” 

(The Women of the South in War Times, Matthew Page  Andrews, Norman, Remington Company, 1920, pp. 399-406) 

(Article courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452, Sons of Confederate Veterans; President Jefferson Davis Chapter, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, vol. 45, issue #4, April 2021 ed.)

Book Blitz – Dare to be a Duchess

He’s a powerful duke. She’s his uncle’s ward. They have forever been at war, until one night, one masquerade, and one kiss…

A person and person kissing

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Lara Ramsay is no stranger to scandal. As the orphaned daughter of a British colonel and his beloved Indian wife, whispers follow her everywhere. Not even the protection of the formidable Duke of Wolverton, a man she can’t stand, keeps the gossips at bay.
The audacious Lara has driven Tristan Wentworth, The Duke of Wolverton, to distraction since the day his uncle took her in—and he’s quite certain doing so is her favorite pastime. After catching her and his younger sister at a salacious masquerade, he’s had enough scandal and issues a marriage ultimatum: find a husband within six months or one will be chosen for her.
Unfortunately, no one in the ton appeals to her. Except, perhaps, the duke himself. The battle of wills has only just begun, and when Lara kisses him, their fate is sealed.
Sometimes even the most proper duke needs to break the rules to win the heart of the woman he loves…

Book Links:
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Quotes from Dare to be a Duchess:

“Here, right at this moment, I’m giving you an ultimatum: Find someone from the ton to marry in the next six months or I will choose someone for you.” – Duke of Wolverton

“Well then the plan is simple, ‘Divide and Rule.’” – Lara Ramsay

“You’ll be surprised that a gentleman with the best intentions can behave like a rake when faced with temptation.” – Duke of Wolverton

“I think, Wolf, that you go on and on about my undesirability and my unattractiveness as a way to convince yourself more than me. The fact is that you kissed me because I am desirable and I am very attractive indeed.” – Lara Ramsay.

“You know very well that I’m accepted in the ton, albeit grudgingly, thanks only to you. No man wants to marry me, and I don’t want to marry any of those men.” – Lara Ramsay.

Read an Excerpt from Dare to be a Duchess:

Wolf crossed his arms and glared at Lara. Despite being at fault, she was as unrepentant as ever. Her absolute nonchalance drove him mad, always. 

“It is my concern. Getting into trouble is second nature to you, so I’d be lying if I said that it gave me any pleasure to be the one to help you out.” Wolf scowled at her. “Paxton is not a fool. He only has to think closely as to whose identity I would desperately want to protect and then remember your dark hair and he will come up with your name. You truly have no sense at all.”

“Well then you shouldn’t have bothered coming to my aid,” Lara retorted. “I could have handled the situation perfectly well by myself.” 

Wolf put his hands on his hips. “And how may I ask would you have done that?”

“I’ve heard that a well planted knee on a delicate part of a man’s anatomy would normally do the trick.”

His eyebrows shot up. “You’re crazy to think that you could have deterred Paxton that easily.”

Lara merely stared at him, her head held high, further fueling his temper. 

“What, nothing to say?” he snapped. “Which brings me back to my first question. What in the world are you doing here in this depraved place?” 

Lara continued to watch him with those deep blue eyes, her lips set in a mutinous line. Her lack of response irked him even more. 

“Answer me,” Wolf demanded, his tone sharp.

She met his gaze head on. “We had no inkling this place would be so bad. And nothing untoward has occurred, so stop shouting at me.”

 “Unbelievable,” he growled. “Do you know how bad this place can be for two innocent girls like yourselves? Behind their masks and costumes, the men here have only one thing on their minds when they look at you, and you, as usual, don’t care that you could be completely ruined if discovered, let alone taken advantage of, in this den of vice. You are wild and irresponsible and you give no thought to your actions or the consequences thereof. And you 

brought Anne here? Just because you don’t care about your reputation doesn’t mean you can play fast and loose with hers.”

Lara’s eyes blazed with fury. “Anne is not a child. She is a grown woman who has a mind of her own.” 

“And that is justification for you to come here?” Wolf countered.

“I, too, have a mind of my own,” she shot back. “And I do not appreciate you telling me what I can and cannot do.”

His nostrils flared. He was the Duke of Wolverton, one of the most powerful men in England. No one defied him. And yet this one woman stood against him at every turn. Why couldn’t she understand the potential danger for her or Anne here?

About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers.

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