J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “March, 2022”

Release Day Blitz – Ruin of the Scarred

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Bidisha, a 17-year-old braveheart, has lived all her life in hiding since she is the daughter of the most wanted woman in Bishnupur. In the calm of the British Raj, Bidisha embarks on the quest to free her mother from the false accusation. But for that, she needs to challenge the royals who dare not stand against the British.

And when she enters the palace, she encounters the power-hungry Yuvaraja Trinabh and his twisted mother, the Rani Maa. Rani Maa despises her dutiful but meek step-son Yuvaraja Prabir and his hound Debesh Das, a Yodha who is his master’s protector. And so, she assigns Bidisha a job to spy.

But hearts entwine, and love meddles their path in the most unpredictable and adventurous ways.

Furthermore, things become dicey when Bidisha slits off her lover’s thumb, the Yuvaraja himself. Her dream to live free becomes a farfetched nightmare as her hiding in the jungle is not an option anymore.

When the deadly romance and the moral complexity are only a superficial part of the deep-rooted dark conspiracy, will Bidisha survive her sinking ground?

Will she emerge a warrior, save her own heart and win her love?

Or, will she succumb to the royal politics, lose her mother and lose herself too?

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon US * Amazon IN

Read an Excerpt from Ruin of the Scarred

‘Don’t be under the impression that you are an exception because you saved my life,’ Rani Durga Moni Devi continued. ‘Didn’t I tell you yesterday that you need to be at least clean if not anything else? But look at you.’

Bidisha’s forehead scrunched even as she fisted her hands part in disappointment in herself and part in anger towards the man who was responsible for her current state. Bidisha looked at the man before her in annoyance. Her anger amplified when he gave her a smug smile even as the queen continued her tirade. 

Nobody had ever spoken to her like that. Though Bidisha had encountered rude men and women, she had always taught them a lesson if they crossed the line she had drawn. Bidisha was already having a one-on-one combat with Rani Durga Moni Devi in her mind and was mincing the queen with her sword in her world. She smiled at her thoughts, hiding her face when, in their imaginary battle, Rani Maa fell carrying her huge body weight. 

Suddenly, a pair of legs appeared before her and she knew instantly that it was none other than the mysterious man. Bidisha lifted her head.  

Did he see me smiling? This is not good. I should have been more careful before mocking the queen.

The man took her in from top to bottom, then stretched a hand and moved her out of his way. He then walked out of Rani Maa’s chamber as if nothing had happened. The huge man in black was not only mysterious and rude but was also indecent, she concluded. 

Bidisha felt a flash of irritation and she glared at his retreating form. Her first mission, she thought, would be to dig out all the information she could about that man, once she got into the palace. 

About the Author:

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Medha Nagur is anything but a stereotypical homemaker, at home full time but with a pen all the time!

A freelance blogger by profession in her past life, she was on her maternity break when she started writing fiction. Medha considers herself a chronic creative aficionado who loves painting and writing.

Once a lecturer in Science College, where she gave lectures in Computer Science soon after her Masters, was fascinated by the blog world and realized her love for the words and took up writing full time.

She is also at her creative best when it comes to cooking innovative dishes to cater to the needs of her 11-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter, and not to mention her epicure husband. Get a glimpse of her culinary art on Instagram.

A music lover who likes to hit the floor on Zumba numbers is also a fashion enthusiast (like any woman on this planet!).

She wants to be in the womb of nature when it comes to holidays, embracing its warmth, which she believes is a gift to mankind.

All in all, she is born to collect laughs and make a relentless commitment to love so that she can enjoy life in abundance.

Medha on the Web:

Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon

A Reminder

I would like to share an excerpt that was printed in the June 1906 edition of the Confederate Veteran. I found it to be an interesting take on Confederate monuments, and I hope you will too. Thank you, Teresa Roane, for this excerpt.

From General Stephen D. Lee’s speech April 1906

There are three things peculiarly left for our concern. One of these is the erection of public monuments to our Confederate dead; not only to our leaders, but, above all, to those private soldiers who made our leaders immortal.  We must not overtask posterity by expecting those who come after us to build monuments to heroes whom their own generation were unwilling to commemorate.  The South has reached a position of material prosperity which justifies both State and private beneficence to honor the faithful dead.

In all human lot there has nothing better been found for man than to die for his country.  If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, this fate is to be preferred above all others.  We feel it is well with those who have thus fulfilled the highest of all trusts, the duty of a citizen to his native land; and whatever may have been their private faults, their public service on the field of battle has rightly given them a place with the immortals.  Theirs was the martyr’s devotion without the martyr’s hope.  Their generation and their country imposed upon them this high service.  They fulfilled it without flinching.  They felt that the issue of the battle was with God; the issue of their duty was with themselves….

I urge monuments to the Confederate soldier first for the sake of the dead, but most for the sake of the living, that in this busy industrial age these stones to the Confederate soldier may stand like great interrogation marks to the soul of each beholder.

A Rebel Among Us Wins B.R.A.G. Medallion

My novel, A Rebel Among Us, has recently received the B.R.A.G. Medallion. This book is the third one in the Renegade Series. Now all three books in the series are recipients of the B.R.A.G. Medallion. According to the IndieBRAG website:

“BRAGMedallion.com is owned and operated by indieBRAG, LLC, a privately held organization that has brought together a large group of readers, both individuals and members of book clubs, located throughout the United States and in ten other countries around the globe. The word “indie” refers to self-published books, while B.R.A.G. is an acronym for Book Readers Appreciation Group. The name “indieBRAG” and the B.R.A.G. logos are trademarks of indieBRAG, LLC. The B.R.A.G. Medallion is a certification trademark owned and controlled by indieBRAG, LLC.”

My book is featured on the homepage of their website, https://www.bragmedallion.com/. It is also on its own page: https://www.bragmedallion.com/award-winning-books/historical-fiction/a-rebel-among-us/

The first two books in the Renegade Series, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire, have also received the honor. Thank you, indieBRAG, for this distinguished recognition!

B.R.A.G. Medallion Report Card for A Beckoning Hellfire

B.R.A.G. Medallion Report Card 

Book Title: A Beckoning Hellfire 

Author: J.D.R. Hawkins 

Genre: Historical Fiction 

Our decision regarding your book was based on the following assessment. For more details about this process please read the ABOUT US/HOW WE DO IT section of our website. 

Ratings 

The book was rated on the following criteria using this scale: 

(If nonfiction, criteria in parentheses) 

5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Poor, 1 = Very Poor, 0 = Not Rated 

Title 

Intriguing, forceful, appropriate to the story 

Cover 

Striking, professional looking, appropriate to the story 

Plot (Subject Matter) 

Original, compelling, engaging, coherent 

Characters (Relevant Anecdotes) 

Interesting, appealing, believable 

Dialogue (Clarity of Content) 

Authentic, quotable, advances the story 

Writing Style 

Distinctive voice, pleasing rhythm, evocative 

Chapters 

Logical flow, advance the story, build momentum 

Copy Editing 

Grammar, punctuation, spelling, word choice 

Content (Developmental) Editing 

Structure, coherence, continuity, accuracy 

Formatting 

Front matter, layout, font 

Additional Comments

I really liked this book. I am not much of an expert on the Civil War so am not a great judge of accuracy. However, I do love stories about the War and was not disappointed! I found the story to be concise and well-told, the construct of the story strong, the storytelling fantastic. My only observation was how David just took off and was gone for extended periods before riding back in. I would have thought he would have been considered a deserter or, at the very least, been interrogated as to what he had been up to. Also, not to be overly “gross”, why wouldn’t a starving army eat the horse instead of just burning it? Just a thought. In all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and hope to read the next one in this series. This is a very talented author! 

I have to award any book that was fun to read and challenged my understanding of military history enough to make me look up the battles to find they are all accurately depicted from a private’s viewpoint. I am so used to reading battles from an omniscient officer’s viewpoint or “god’s eye view” that it is refreshing to experience the confusion of a private down in the muck point of view. I have to admit that I doubt a couple of privates got as much freedom to choose as Jake and David did in this book nor as much freedom as David took going AWOL and returning with minimal disciplinary action. I’m a little disappointed that David’s trick riding skills didn’t get used in battle. It is also disappointing that his privileged position as a messenger was not used to give the view from the top to give a better overview of the various actions he was near or in and could have ridden through as a courier. Kudos for not giving in to the temptation to do either of these that I probably would have panned you for as pushing the realism envelope a little too far as it was a little stretchy here and there as it is, such as Renegade’s final run in this story to set up the next book. That is enough for now as I can’t wait any longer to read the third book.

*

This an excellent book. The principal character, David Summers, is believable and engaging. The story flows smoothly, albeit a bit slowly at first, and the cavalry battle scenes are stark, terrifying and appropriately brutal. I highly recommend this book for a Medallion. 

In addition to the numerical ratings, we ask our readers to leave a few brief comments or suggestions to help an author enhance their writing skills, especially if the reader is unable to rate a book on one or more of the above criteria. Please note, however, that not all readers choose to leave a comment. 

Copyright 2016 IndieBRAG, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

A Beckoning Hellfire Receives B.R.A.G. Medallion

As mentioned in an earlier post, my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, recently received the prestigious B.R.A.G. Medallion, which is only awarded to Indie books. According to their website:

“BRAGMedallion.com is owned and operated by indieBRAG, LLC, a privately held organization that has brought together a large group of readers, both individuals and members of book clubs, located throughout the United States and in ten other countries around the globe. The word “indie” refers to self-published books, while B.R.A.G. is an acronym for Book Readers Appreciation Group. The name “indieBRAG” and the B.R.A.G. logos are trademarks of indieBRAG, LLC. The B.R.A.G. Medallion is a certification trademark owned and controlled by indieBRAG, LLC.”

My book is featured on the homepage of their website, https://www.bragmedallion.com/. It is also on its own page: https://www.bragmedallion.com/award-winning-books/historical-fiction/a-beckoning-hellfire/.

A Beckoning Hellfire is the second book in the Renegade Series to receive this award. The first book in the series, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, has also received the honor. Thank you, indieBRAG, for this distinguished recognition!

New Review for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

I just received this awesome review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, from Diabolic Shrimp. Thank you for the great review!

A Beautiful Glittering Lie

JDR Hawkins

JDR Hawkins brings the Civil War to life through the eyes of a family in A Beautiful Glittering Lie!  The Confederacy has just broken away from the Union and Southern farmer Hiram Summers decides to enlist in the army, soon getting whisked away to war.  Meanwhile, his wife Caroline and son David discover the realities of war on the homefront.  I loved Hawkins’ focus on this one family as it gave the avenue to see the war from three different perspectives: that of the soldier, the youth, and the mother trying to make ends meet on the farm!  This is a novel with great feeling and intrigue, and I loved the characters and getting to experience their moral struggle.  If you’re interested in the Civil War and want a good emotional novel, come enlist with A Beautiful Glittering Lie!

www.diabolicshrimp.com

Release Day Blitz – Rudrabaan (Cursed Elements) 

A café owner who is haughty and entitled. An event planner who is earnest and acquiescent. A curse that was cast an eternity ago…

Shruthakeerthi Urs aka. Shruti is the client from hell. Jaideep Rai is the hot new event planner who bring out the shrew in Shruti. Tempers fly and egos clash even as they attempt to work together on an event.
Fate brings them face to face again when they both sign up for the same Jungle Challenge adventure, traversing the mountains and forests of the Western Ghats of India. Forced to work together they snarl and spar at every given chance, refusing to admit that they may be hankering for something amorous with the other…a simmering undercurrent of passion!
And what happens when one of them is cursed? Can they put aside their differences and come together to break a curse that has sounded the death knell for generations of one of their families? Amidst surprise revelations, mystic mendicants, and repressed memories, can the two work out the pieces of the puzzle that can break the curse?
Will Shruti and Jaideep survive this epic adventure and find love, or will they remain ships passing in the night…

Rudrabaan is an adventure filled story peppered with magical realism and hued with some regular hate to love drama.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Rudrabaan

Jaideep was now definitely staring at the two of them. How does Bobby do this? How does he just win people over? Jaideep was feeling confused and irritated. If it wasn’t for the fact that Bobby was his best friend and that he was gay, Jaideep might have just ripped his limbs apart for hugging Shruti. He wanted to be in Bobby’s place right now, smelling her hair and gently kissing her forehead as she leaned in. He pictured himself pushing his fingers into her curly knots and bringing her head closer to his chest. 

Thwack! Prashant’s broad hand landed on Jaideep’s back. ‘Let’s go, buddy. Did you not hear your name?’

Participants were now divided into two groups and given logs of wood and thick ropes. They had to make rafts that would take them across the stream. Lunch was being served on the other side of the stream. Eager to have lunch, the teams put their backs into making the rafts. 

Shruti and Jaideep sat on opposite sides of the raft as they were part of the same group. About a meter from the bank, the ropes of their raft began to come undone, and the logs of wood separated, toppling the team into water. The other team who had reached the bank began laughing as they stepped into the water to pull people out. 

‘It’s all your fault. If you didn’t know how to tie ropes you should have left it to the experts,’ Shruti shouted at Jaideep. 

‘Like you are an expert on everything?’, he retorted as he looked at her wet cotton shirt. It was clinging to her skin and the water had made it see-through. Jaideep was looking at the clear outline of a yellow bra as he spoke.   

‘I wasn’t talking about myself. But if you took the time to pull your head out of your ass, you would know that!’ she said and stomped away, water dripping from her clothes as she walked onto the bank of the stream. 

The rest of the group had already gone ahead to where lunch was being served and didn’t notice the exchange of words between them.  

Jaideep grabbed Shruti’s arm and pulled her close. They looked at each other with daggers in their eyes but kindred embers in their souls. He wanted to bite her lower lip as he glared at her, his eyes lingering a second longer than intended on her luscious lips and moving furtively down her neck.

He tore his eyes away from her and forced himself to look away as he said, ‘What is your problem? Why do you hate me? I am just trying to have a decent, hard-earned holiday. Please!’

Shruti wrestled her arm out of his grasp. She tried hard not to focus on why her body was melting in response to his touch,  like a smitten kitten and she said, ‘Don’t you dare touch me again. I don’t know you enough to hate you. You are not that important to me. Please enjoy your holiday and stay the hell away from me!’

Shruti walked away huffing, but her body seemed to be yearning for that fervour she felt a few seconds ago when Jaideep had clutched her wrist. She had been so afraid that he would feel her pulse quicken and hear how loudly her heart thumped inside her chest when he touched her. 

Neither of them saw that a flaming arrow had landed right next to the riverbank that they had stepped onto. The flames flickered and the arrow disappeared once again. 


About the Author:

Nitya Neelakantan is a writer and yoga teacher from Bangalore. She has three paperback novels that are awaiting publication with Rupa Publications and Readomania. 

Nitya graduated with a degree in Hotel Management before moving into the learning space as a technical trainer and then a soft skills trainer. Her writing and yoga journey began simultaneously as she hung up her corporate boots in exchange for more time with her two and four-legged family. 

When not teaching or reading, Nitya enjoys travelling with her husband, son, and two fluffy dog-babies.  She is an amateur blogger who is also passionate about composting, slow fashion, and conscious living.

Keep in touch with Nitya:

Blog * Blog * Facebook * Instagram * Instagram * Twitter

Guest Post by Julian Lane

Tips to Avoid Weather Damage to Your Home

Photo by Unsplash

There’s a reason we build shelters to protect ourselves from the elements—it gets brutal out there. Of course, the barrier that protects us from the heat, wind, and snow takes a beating from those extreme weather conditions. Over time (and sometimes immediately), your home can suffer weather-related damage.

While some damage can be easily fixed, other types of damage require further inspection. And in some cases, you’ll even need to boost your insurance policy. Consider the following tips if you live in a climate that’s prone to severe weather events.

These tips are brought to you by J.D.R. Hawkins, an award-winning and bestselling author of several fiction and one non-fiction book about the U.S. Civil War. You can find her Renegade series of novels on her website, JDRHawkins.com

Clean Your Gutters

If water can’t flow freely through your gutters, it can leak into your house, causing damage to the walls and even the foundation, compromising the home’s structure and stability. Remove any leaves or debris from the gutters, or you could hire a service to clean your gutters at least once a year. Another option is to use gutter guards to help prevent debris from getting lodged into the gutters in the first place.

If you’ve had clogged gutters, you can check for water damage yourself. Look for stains, warping, mold, and standing water. If you find any of these issues, you’ll want to have them addressed right away to avoid further damage.

Prune Your Trees

A dead branch (or even a live one) can break in a storm, causing damage to your roof, windows, or exterior walls. If you’re unable to do it, hire a tree service to remove dead branches and prune the trees to promote their healthy growth. This will also help prevent any unbalanced growth that could lead to the tree leaning or even falling against your home in the future. Dead trees can be a serious hazard, so consider hiring professionals to lend a hand. It’s easy to find reputable contractors via the members list of the LVBA.

Secure Items or Put Them Away

When the forecast calls for an event like a tornado, your best bet is to secure items like patio furniture, grills and the like. A flying chair could easily bust through a window and open your home up to more damage. Before snow season descends, make a point to clean and stow away any of those items so they come out good as new in the spring.

Protect the Pipes

When winter is on the horizon, you’ll want to keep your water pipes in mind. A burst water pipe can cause extensive damage to your property, and it doesn’t take much to help keep your pipes safe and warm. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or heat tape and seal any cracks or leaks. On severely cold days, leave a faucet or two dripping and open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.

The Time to Make Repairs is Now

Making needed repairs before a weather event can prevent more serious damage like installing storm windows and replacing cracked or damaged gutters. Keeping up with regular roof maintenance and repair is essential, as replacing an entire roof is fairly expensive. Also, if you live in a highly competitive market and intend to sell your home in the future, those repairs will pay off in the long run.

If your home endures a big storm, you’ll want to have a roof inspection, particularly if you know your roof was hit by debris or hail. While you can glance at your roof and spot a missing shingle or two, a professional will be able to see the bigger issues and details that can lead to major problems, like damaged flashing or how old the roof is.

Examine Your Insurance Policies

It never hurts to make sure you understand what your homeowner’s policy will cover—and what it won’t—in case of weather-related damage. According to Nationwide, nearly two-thirds of homes are underinsured. Living in an area that suffers extreme climate could be a compelling reason to boost your coverage. For example, you might need supplemental flood insurance to cover the costs of damage related to severe flooding if you’ve seen that sort of destruction in your community.

The adage about an ounce of prevention holds true when it comes to your home. To keep your home in top condition, address damage as it occurs and do what you can to avoid it in the first place. Your property value will thank you for it!

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