J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “January, 2023”

Another Five-Star Review for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

Here is another five-star review I received for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. This book is the first one in the Renegade Series. Thank you so much, Grady Harp, for your amazing review!

Grady Harp

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb historical fiction

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 12, 2023

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Author/singer/songwriter JDR Hawkins writes novels and articles for newspapers, magazines, e-zines and blogs about the Civil War from the Confederate perspective. Her RENEGADE Series is rapidly winning multiple awards; the initial volume is this exceptional book – A BEAUTIFUL GLITTERING LIE. This series, now four books in number, relate the story of a family from northern Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. At this particular time in our history, when questions are being raised about the validity of statues and memorabilia of the Civil War, creating heated discussions and confrontations, this book offers a fresh view of the Civil War from the Southern, and Confederate, stance. For a more complete picture of that historical event, Hawkins has created a fictional revisit to that mid 1800s time and her writing is inviting, from the first lines: “Oh, look! Here he comes!” Jenny exclaimed. The crowd exploded with cheers. David looked over to where she was pointing, his hazel eyes squinting in the bright sunshine. An elegant black lacquered carriage drawn by six white horses pulled up to the steps of the regal Greek revival-style state building. Eight musicians burst into “Dixie’s Land.” A slender, steely middle-aged gentleman stepped out of the carriage and was escorted by military personnel to a waiting platform, where he took his seat. “He looks sickly to me,” remarked David’s father, Hiram…’ Approaching her novel from the family standpoint allows everyone entry to better understand the Confederate vantage.

With that sense of presence, the plot progresses as follows: ‘In the spring of 1861, a country once united is fractured by war. Half of America fights for the Confederate cause; the other, for unification. Rebel forces have already seized Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, a new Confederate president has been elected, and the Constitution has been revised. In north Alabama, a farmer and father of three decides to enlist. For Hiram Summers, it is the end of everything he has ever known. After Hiram travels to Virginia with the Fourth Alabama Infantry Regiment, he is quickly thrust into combat. His son, David, who must stay behind, searches for adventure at home by traipsing to Huntsville with his best friend, Jake Kimball, to scrutinize invading Yankees. Meanwhile, Caroline – Hiram’s wife and David’s mother – struggles to keep up with the farm as her world revolves around the letters she receives from her husband, whom she misses dearly. As Hiram and his son discover the true meaning of war, they soon realize that their choices have torn their family apart. The naïveté of a young country is tested, a father sacrifices everything to defend his home, and a young man longs for adventure – regardless of the perilous cost.’

This is a timely novel that will hopefully add new dimensions of thinking about the Civil War and its persistent scars.

New Reviews for Double-Edged Sword

I recently received several new reviews for my latest novel, Double-Edged Sword. This book is the fourth in the Renegade Series, and has already reached The #1 spot on Amazon. I’d like to share some of these reviews with you. Thanks so much for the awesome reviews, and for your continuing support!

I received this review from Leaders Press.

And here are a few more from readers.

Santiago Flores

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read

Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2022

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Double-Edged Sword: A Novel of Reconstruction Book Four of the Renegade Series by J.D.R. Hawkins is a story that shows how a man can be changed after war. The quality of the novel is undoubtedly great. I liked how characters were developed and how the main character’s change was shown. I also enjoyed the dialogues, which seem quite accurate with real life. I recommend reading it.

Robin

5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and intense

Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2022

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Double-edged sword by J.D.R. Hawkins is an astounding story filled with remarkable character experiences and intense adversities. The troubles and conflicts brought on by the result of combat run deep. Instability and turmoil are triggered though violent behavior and suffering. It was rather fascinating learning about the life of soldiers following war, and the author does a great job of capturing genuine emotion. This is a very thought-provoking book that I would highly recommend.

Adriana Capitani

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read

Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2022

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Double-Edged Sword: A Novel of Reconstruction Book Four of the Renegade Series by author J.D.R. Hawkins is an enjoyable read that can be a very good stand alone – so, if you haven’t read the previous ones, you would be able to understand this one.
The scenery, the description of characters and the dialogues are well created, making the reader immerse in the story easily. I would totally recommend reading it.

Awesome Review for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

This review was recently posted on Goodreads. Thank you so much, Sophie Narey, for your review!

Release Blitz – Once Upon a Kiss

Once Upon a Kiss Banners.png.jpg

“Kissing you means I’m beyond redemption.”

Orphaned at a young age, scraping together a life below the poverty line, Karam Bakshi has only ever wanted one thing. Success. With unrelenting focus and backbreaking effort, he has carved out the life of his dreams. And then he saw her and forgot that he had goals or a plan or even something as basic as ideas.

Shikha Sachdev, only daughter to a mining magnate and jilted fiancée to one of the most powerful men in the country, has never wanted for anything. And then she met him and realised that until that moment, she never had wanted anything. Not like she wanted him.

When passion collides with reason, when the heart goes to war with the brain, and old scabs rip open under the onslaught of new wounds, there is nowhere to hide, nowhere to run, and only one option left; gamble with everything you’ve got. Win and reach for a lifetime of happiness or lose and you lose everything, including your very sense of self.

Can Karam and Shikha ever find common ground? Or are they destined to orbit each other like the most tortured star-crossed lovers of eternity?

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Once Upon a Kiss

Karam stiffened at the sweet voice and the even sweeter sentiment it oozed. He didn’t do sweet. He turned slowly to face her. 

“Slumming again, Princess?”

Anger flared on those perfect features, but she composed herself a second later. You had to admire that level of control. She would have made the perfect politician’s wife. Kanak, on the other hand…a reluctant laugh huffed out of him. 

“Why are you like this?” she asked now, her tone bored but her eyes alive with something he recognised all too well. The same emotion thrummed through his veins, heating his blood and kickstarting his heart. 

He took a sip from his flask, a deliberately long one. He wanted to smack his lips, the gesture as pointed as it was obscene, when she stepped closer to him.

“You didn’t reply to my last message.” The soft words only stoked the heat.

“Didn’t have time.” The words were a low snarl in response. 

She cocked her head, those pretty hazel eyes seeing right through him and to the lonely, angry, always hungry boy he’d been and apparently, never outgrown. The boy who’d longed for a better life, for a full stomach, for a night without being whipped or beaten, for an affectionate touch, for someone, anyone really, to love him. 

A boy who’d thought he’d deserved better. A boy who’d wanted something pretty, something special in his life. A boy who’d dirtied and ruined everything he’d held in his hands. Including this woman.

He’d kissed her. And she’d lost everything. Her rich, powerful fiancé had ended their engagement, her family had shunned her, humiliated by her actions and her business had lost investors. Apparently, they’d been backing the woman who was going to marry Aakash Thakkar. Not someone who’d kiss an alley rat like him. 

“Go inside,” he told her softly.

But when did she ever listen to him?

“No,” she said, equally softly, stepping forward and into his space. 

“You really need to find a rich, pretty boy to practice this shit with, Princess.” The words were hoarse, his chest starting to heave. 

“But I don’t want to,” she murmured, her fingers pushing the hair back from his forehead, running through the strands. She gripped the back of his neck, the contact feeling like a brand on his skin.

“What do you want?” His hand fisted around his flask even as the other one gripped her hip, the skin soft and satiny under his callused palm. Her saree pallu whispered down one shoulder and slipped to the ground but neither of them noticed, their eyes only on each other.

“What. Do. You. Want?” The words were dragged from him. 

“You, Karam. Always you.” 

This time when she kissed him, he didn’t just go up in flames. He swore he’d burn the world down for a chance to do this again. And again.

About the Author:

A published author with Harlequin India – Mills & Boon India Collection and Juggernaut, Shilpa Suraj’s books have hit both the Hot New Releases and Bestseller lists on Amazon. Her next novel, tentatively titled ‘Wrong,’ has been contracted by Rupa Publications and will release later this year. She is also part of the Flipped Anthology by Harper Collins and had an audiobook book Insta Reddy release with Storytel.

She is, amongst other things, currently working on ‘Frazzled and Fabulous,’ a humorous, true-to-life parenting story that is part memoir and part nonfiction.

An avid reader with a passion for creative writing and storytelling saw her participating in writing competitions at school and dabbling in copy writing for an ad agency as a teenager. Twenty years in the corporate space, including a stint in Corporate Communications for Google, India, and a spell at entrepreneurship all hold her in good stead for her multiple current roles of author, mother and Head of Human Resources & Public Relations at an architecture and interior design firm.

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

Double-Edged Sword Receives Another Five-Star Review

I recently received this review from Vine Voice for my latest novel, Double-Edged Sword. This book is the fourth one in the Renegade Series. Thank you so much, Piaras, for your review!

Piaras

VINE VOICE

5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read epic historical drama.Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 12, 2022

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The American Civil War has come to an end. David Summers, a Confederate cavalryman, goes back to Alabama with his new wife, Anna, to settle down there after serving in the war. Upon returning, he is aware of the profound impact that the war has had, not only on himself but also on his homeland. As a result of being confronted with the difficulties of transition, he acquires the skills necessary to negotiate both his new reality and the agony and trauma of his past. Additionally, he is compelled to face off with his adversaries, one of whom is Stephen Montgomery. Their deep-seated animosity for one another will inevitably lead to a violent altercation, during which David will be taken into custody. Even though he was a member of the Confederacy in the past, do you think the jury will believe his side of the story? Or will he be executed by hanging for his crime?

Double-Edged Sword: A Novel of Reconstruction Book Four of the Renegade Series by award-winning author J.D.R. Hawkins is a well-written and researched historical drama about the immediate aftermath of the American Civil War and the difficult years that came to be known as the Reconstruction era. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction and a well-deserved five stars from me.

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