J.D.R. Hawkins

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

My Book Cover is Now in Round Three!

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My novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, has received enough votes to make it to round three! Thank you so much for your support!

With each round (there are three), everyone can vote again, so I’m asking you to please vote for my book cover once more. Here is the voting link:

https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/7748/

This contest is held monthly by All Author. I really appreciate your support. Thank you so much!

Cover Reveal – A Barren Heart

~ Cover Reveal ~ 

A Barren Heart by Shilpa Suraj

ABH Cover Reveal Banner copy

Coming to Your Kindle on 29th May
Pre-Order your copy NOW!

A Barren Heart copy

When having it all isn’t enough…

Aman and Rhea seem to have the perfect marriage. They are madly in love – with each other, with their own careers and the home and life they are building in a quiet Mumbai suburb. 

Rhea is a successful interior designer with a thriving business while Aman is a commercial pilot who is at peace with his life, on the ground and in the skies! What could possibly be lacking in their picture-perfect marriage?

A baby. 

Like most women, thirty plus Rhea Chakraborty, wants to hold her own flesh and blood in her arms. And Aman too wants the same. 

Or does he? 

After another unexplained miscarriage that takes a severe emotional, physical, and psychological toll on them, Aman isn’t sure if having a baby will complete them or destroy them. 

Suddenly, Rhea and Aman find the fabric of their stable marriage fraying beneath the strain of their failed conceptions. Where once they were a team with a common goal, they now find themselves on opposite sides with shifting goalposts. 

A Barren Heart is set in so-called modern India and is the story of the struggle of an affluent, educated couple who are still fighting the shackles of societal indoctrination and expectations and losing each other in the process.

ABH Shorty copy

Coming to Your Kindle on 29th May
Pre-Order your copy NOW!

About Shilpa Suraj:

Shilpa Suraj-2 copy

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.

Shilpa on the Web:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

 

My Book Made It to Round Two!

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My novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, had enough votes to make it to round two! Thank you so much for your support!

With each round (there are three), everyone can vote again, so I’m asking you to please vote for my book cover once more. Here is the voting link:

https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/7748/

This contest is held monthly by All Author. I really appreciate your support. Thank you so much!

 

Book Blitz – The Songbirds of Alif

TS Banner copy

About the Book:
TS Cover copy

The Songbirds is a literary tale that goes to the heart of what’s ailing today’s world and tries to find the answers to our most pressing questions.

Amidst poetry and the innocence of youth, the love story of Kasim and Sumera sprouts in the romantic settings of Bada Ghar, the mystical house of a long-gone but not forgotten poet, Bulbul Baba, their mutual ancestor. To carve a better future for Sumera and himself, Kasim migrates West. But, once there, an increasingly westernised Kasim begins to see his for love for Sumera as taboo. So, instead, he tries to find fulfilment in London, forcefully burying his love.

However, with time, Kasim realises that the West doesn’t have the answers he is looking for and his yearning for Sumera returns, becoming stronger than ever, but a huge barrier now stands between them. Not only that, but time could also be running out because, back home, Sumera has gone on to become a fiery blogger over controversial issues, earning herself many enemies, possibly one too many.

“A meditation on love’s complicated intimacies…A stunning literary tale!”

To the free bird in all of us…

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon
TS (1) copy

Read some Snippets from The Songbirds

 

~ Snippet 1 ~

The study room at Bulbul Baba’s Bada Ghar. To me, it is the most magical room in the whole world, for it has the poetry of the heavens. There, year after year, I see many bulbuls sing, competing with each other to see who has the sweetest song. There is one, in particular, a young bulbul, whose chirps rise like the scented petals of jasmine caressed by the breeze and touch the heart.

 

~ Snippet 2 ~

Ironically, years ago, I had taken a big leap to reach where I now precariously stood. I hadn’t known then that the hand I had leapt for would turn out to be a mirage. Not only that but in making that leap, I had let go of the only hand which had truly ever anchored me; I had let go of her hand.

Now, as my hands flail in desperation, she is the only one who can save me. However, the distance that separates us is the distance which separates the Moon from the Earth. Still, impossible as it may seem, I have to reach for her hand.

Though, there is also a fear that she is no longer there, waiting for me. For all I know, it could be another mirage beckoning me, but I have to find out. I have to leap back to her; only this time it is a leap of faith. My faith in love.

TS Free copy

Download a copy on 8th or 9th May!

About the Author:

Alif copy

I write because silence is not an option. At the same time, my novels brim with hope in addition to having a riveting plot. My debut novel, which was published by a boutique publisher in Europe some years ago, was seen to be refreshing.

My recent novel Guns and Saffron has received exceptionally good reviews on Amazon, NetGalley and Goodreads saying that it is addictive, fresh and enlightening. The Songbirds, a literary tale, is my latest novel.

 

Please Vote For My Cover!

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The new cover for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, has been nominated for best book cover! All Author runs their contest monthly, and for the month of May, my book cover is in the running. Here is the link:

https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/7748/

This is how it will all play out:

“The selection committee has chosen 256 covers out of the 370 entries. We are happy that you are one of the selected. 

“Your book, A Beautiful Glittering Lie: A Novel of the Civil War, has been picked to be one of the contenders in the Cover of the Month contest – May 2020.The contest will now have 4 rounds:

  • First, all the selected entries will contest for the next round. (Duration 1st – 7th)
  • Second, 100 top-voted covers will compete to enter the third round. (Duration 8th – 14th)
  • Third, top 50 book covers from the previous round. (Duration 15th – 21st)
  • Fourth, top 24 book covers will play the last round in the chase. (Duration 22nd – Month end)

“The 3 winners will be announced on the last day of the month.”

I am so proud of the new cover for my book, as well as my awesome new publisher, Westwood Books Publishing, LLC. Please vote for this cover (which was originally designed by my son). We would greatly appreciate your support! Thank you so very much!

https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/7748/

 

 

Book Blitz – Karma’s Dilemma

~ Book Blitz ~
Karma’s Dilemma
by Karma

KD Banner copy
About the Book:

KD Cover copy

Karma, a young man, knows very well who his soulmate is. Or so he thinks.

But, really, who is the one?

The posh Angela who he worships. Or is it Sana, the wild racer, who drives him crazy. Or is it Simi, the sensible psychologist, who puts him back together.

Or maybe there is no one for him because Karma’s deeds in his all-consuming quest as he scours the world have broken so many rules that, one day, karma, the immortal and unrelenting collector of soul-debt, comes calling for Karma, the mortal, himself.

The novel demonstrates the lengths one is willing to go to, the rules one is willing to break and the soul-debt one is willing to accumulate in the quest for a soulmate. Truly, everything is fair in love, even if not in war.

Will Karma the mortal outwit karma the immortal? Or will karma wipe Karma away…

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

KD Review copy

Read some Snippets from Karma’s Dilemma

~ Snippet 1 ~

Every once in a while, Grandfather would muster enough strength to pick up his stick and take a walk to the orchard, along with me, whenever he needed a fix; Lalita’s husband was his supplier.

Grandfather would pay for the joint of marijuana, once Lalita’s husband had prepared it for him. After that, we would sit under the shade of a mango tree, while Grandfather took lazy puffs from his joint, a big toothless grin spreading across his face and making him look like a laughing Buddha, except Grandfather was thinner. Once the Marijuana had taken full effect, he would close his eyes, lean against the tree trunk and talk about the good old days; the days of his youth and strength, when he had led our townsfolk in the freedom struggle. He talked proudly of the time spent in the local prison along with fellow patriots. He often mentioned a letter which Mahatma Gandhi himself had written, personally thanking Grandfather for his efforts, though no one else in the family had ever seen that letter.

The only other freedom fighter I knew of was a young toffee seller, a dark-skinned and handsome man, Veerasamy. Tied to an upright stick, attached to his bicycle, was a toffee doll, dressed in an old pink frock. He would pull some toffee from the doll, fashion it into a watch, a ring or a bird and sell to children in town. While moulding our toffees into the shape we desired, Veerasamy talked about equality; for the poor, for women and the children. What we needed was evolution and not revolution he would say. In his free time, he did solo acting plays at the town centre, being for a while the oppressor and for a while the oppressed. A police constable had whacked him with the cane once for being a nuisance in public, which was when the toffee man’s performance had held up traffic. 

~ Snippet 2 ~

Something else happened during this time to increase my determination further; I fell in love for the first time in my life. I fell in love with Angela Matthew. I first saw her a few months into my second year at college. The first time she walked into the class, I stopped breathing. When I did breathe again, it was only to inhale her scent, a scent of roses, as she walked past. It was as if the queen bee herself walked into the hive the classroom was. Her family had moved from Muscat in the Middle-East when her father had decided to return for good to India to set up his own business of supplying spare parts for the car industry. As Angela introduced herself to the class, I wanted to walk up to her, hold my fingers to her lips and feel the sweet music flowing out of her mouth. When she smiled, the delightful dimples on her cheeks captivated my attention, like the rotating concentric circles used by a hypnotist do. 

KD (2) copy

Download a copy on 2nd May!

About the Author:

Karma copy

Dear Readers,

Before I tell you more about myself, I want to answer a question that might arise in your mind. Given there are already so many writers (some might think too many), the question is: Why should I write at all?

Simply, I write because I was not allowed to write. Or read, any book which had the word love in it. In my family, it was believed that reading about love lead to rebellion. I myself picked up the pen when my only child was six-months old. At that time, I was without a job. I wrote because there was a lot that I wanted to tell my child, even if one day in the future, to make sense of this world. Writing also helped me keep hope alive, one page at a time, as I went from one fruitless interview to another.

As my child took first steps, I reached a milestone of my own. I completed my first book; the story of a young man’s quest to find answers to life’s questions. A boutique publisher in Paris loved it and translated my work into French. I even found a job soon after.

I am choosing to write under a pen-name because I am at a stage in my life where I prefer and love anonymity. Once my child is older, I intend to write under my own name.

Many thanks for reading my post and I hope you enjoy reading my novels.

Happy Reading!

Karma

 

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Book Teasers

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Just for fun, and because this is the last week of Confederate Heritage Month, I thought I’d share some teasers that were made up for me by a previous publisher. The book is now out with Westwood Books Publishing, LLC. I hope you enjoy them. Let me know what you think!

ABGL Teaser 3

ABGL Teaser 2

ABGL Teaser 1

 

 

New Review for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

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I just received another review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, the first book in the Renegade Series. Thank you, Ms. Jackie, for your kind review!

The narration of this book is excellent. It is plain to see that the author has an intense fascination with the American Civil War. Her descriptions of people, animals and places make you feel as though you are there with them. As a non-American I found it a little difficult to keep up with where all the places are (my copy didn’t have a map in the cover, which would have been helpful!) and the names of all the generals were lost on me. I found it a little confusing with the many names of the different sides at first, having never studied American history. However, once I got going I found it easy enough to work out. The book shows the civil war through the eyes of an ordinary Southern family, which is an interesting perspective and does not glamourise the war at all. It is a working class family’s story, which makes it easy to relate to. Be prepared to read the rest of the series – the ending leaves you wanting more!

Strange and Interesting Facts About the Civil War

Stonewall

Did you know that in the Civil War, General Stonewall Jackson walked around with his right hand in the air to balance the blood in his body? Because he was right-handed, he thought that his right hand was getting more blood than his left, and so by raising his hand, he’d allow the excess blood to run into his left hand. He also never ate food that tasted good, because he assumed that anything that tasted good was completely unhealthy. 

During the Civil War, glasses with colored lenses were used to treat disorders and illnesses. Yellow-trimmed glasses were used to treat syphilis, blue for insanity, and pink for depression. Thus we get the term, to see the world through rose-colored glasses. 

Centuries before and decades after the Civil War, including the war itself, doorways were wide, not because of the width of women’s skirts, but so coffins could be passed through, with a pallbearer on either side. 

funeral

Did you know that the average American in the 1860’s could not afford to paint his house, and a painted house was a sign of affluence? In order to keep up appearances, they used cedar clapboards. 

Did you know that when a woman mourned for her husband in the 1860’s, she spent a minimum of two-and-a-half years in mourning? That meant little or no social activities: no parties, no outings, no visitors, and a wardrobe that consisted of nothing but black. (Shame on Scarlet O’Hara) The husband, when mourning for his wife, however, spent three months in a black suit. 

Surgeons never washed their hands after an operation, because all of the blood was assumed to be the same. 

Did you know that during the Victorian era, the dead were either laid out in their parlors, or, as the Southerners preferred, in their bedrooms? There was no such thing as a funeral home; death was a part of life, and the dead remained in the house up until they were buried. The tradition of flowers around the coffin comes from the Victorians trying to hide the scent of the deceased. Did you know that when a child died, parents would have a photograph taken of the child? They wanted to preserve the memory for as long as possible. A lot of photographs taken of sleeping children are actually of deceased sons or daughters. 

After the Battle of Gettysburg, the discarded rifles were collected and sent to Washington to be inspected and reissued. Of the 37,574 rifles recovered, approximately 24,000 were still loaded; 6,000 had one round in the barrel; 12,000 had two rounds in the barrel; 6,000 had three to ten rounds in the barrel. One rifle, the most remarkable of all, had been stuffed to the top with twenty-three rounds in the barrel. 

Gettysburg

Did you know that President Lincoln had a mild form smallpox (varioloid) while he gave the Gettysburg Address. On the train back to Washington he quipped, “Now I have something that I can give everybody.” 

Did you know that President Lincoln’s favorite tune was “Dixie”? 

The Civil War was also known as The Brothers’ War, the War for the Union and the War of the Rebellion. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA, had twenty-nine horses shot from beneath him during the war years. 

Forrest

Lastly, this is my favorite. I laughed for a while about this. One of the most popular questions park rangers get when giving tours around Civil War battlefields is: “Did the soldiers have to fight around all of these monuments?” They could only smile and say yes: They knew exactly were to die.

Article courtesy of the “Bowling Banner,” Pvt. Wallace Bowling Camp # 1400, Sons Of Confederate Veterans, Post office Box 2355, La Plata, MD 20646

Blog Tour – Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters

 Book Tour ~
Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters 

by Shilpa Suraj

10th to 30th April

About the Book:
She believes in love, family and…squiggles!

Alisha Rana is not your typical single desi girl. For one, she is on the wrong side of 30.  For another, she is divorced. And last but definitely not least, she is still, gasp, a virgin!

Alisha doesn’t want much. But what she does want is that elusive thing all women search for – A man who gets her…but a man who gets her hot! She calls it “feeling the squiggle.”

Enter Dr. Vivaan Kapoor, cute, hot, squiggle-worthy. The younger brother of her cousin’s prospective groom, he’s got the squiggle factor in spades. The only catch? He’s never been married and is years younger than Alisha. Basically, completely off-limits.

And then there is Arjun. Widowed, older than her by the right number of years and a genuinely nice guy. He’s Vivaan’s cousin and a so-called perfect match for Alisha. The problem is, Alisha’s squiggle-o-meter refuses to budge for him.

What will Alisha choose? A lifetime together with the ‘right’ man or a chance at happiness with the ‘wrong’ one?


Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon


Read an Excerpt from Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters by Shilpa Suraj

She closed her eyes and let the nippy breeze cool her flushed cheeks. This moment of solitude in the middle of all the chaos felt like heaven.
“Private moment? Or can I interrupt?” 
Resigned to her fate, Alisha looked up. “Are you stalking me?”
“No.” Sitting down next to her and stretching his long legs out, Vivaan laced his hands on his stomach. “It was getting a little stifling in there, so I thought I’d come out for fresh air. I saw you sitting here alone and figured I’d see if you wanted some company.”
“Terrible,” she said, narrowing her eyes at him.
“What?”
“Your excuse for being out here is terrible. If I wanted company, I would have stayed in there. And the only thing stifling you in there were the women throwing themselves at you.”
Grinning, he pointed out, “You weren’t.”
Tossing her hair, she said, “I have taste.”
“Ouch.” Wincing, he straightened from his slouch. “That hurt. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from that.”
“Oh please. Go in there and let one of those girls slobber all over you. You’ll be fine in minutes.”
“All those tasteless girls in there? No thanks. I think I prefer the discerning one out here.” Reaching out to touch a lock of her hair he twined it around his fingers and watched her reaction.
“Cut it out.” Slapping at his hand, Alisha stood up. “You shouldn’t be flirting with me.”
Rising with her, he faced her. “Why?”
“Because I don’t cradle snatch and I certainly don’t intend to start with my younger cousin’s brother in law.” She tried for both their family’s sakes to take the sting out of her words but knew she’d failed when she saw the expression on his face.
“How old do you think I am?”
Alisha sighed. “Do we have to do this?”
“I’m trying to understand,” Vivaan said. “The age thing matters so much?”
 Alisha stared past him to the crowd now leaving the bar and yelling out goodbyes to each other. Drunk, happy and carefree. She felt every inch of her exhausting thirty three years at that moment.
“For the record, I’m twenty nine years old.” His low murmur had her closing her eyes. Twenty nine. Shit. 
“I don’t think we should be having this conversation,” she said, starting to walk past him to the foyer.
Vivaan caught her hand as she crossed him and yanked her back, his grip firm and compelling. “Answer me. My age matters so much?”
“Yes,” she said, finally.
“Why? Does it make that much of a difference to who I am?”
“Why? What do you mean why? I’m older than you and divorced to add to that. You need any more reasons?” Giving her hand a slight tug, she groaned when his grasp only tightened. “Let go of my hand.”
“Does being older and divorced mean you can’t be friends with me?” 
“It means I can’t stand around holding hands with you.” Staring pointedly at their hands until he released hers, she stepped back and started to move away.
“What makes you think any of it matters to me?” His question had her stopping in her tracks and turning to look at him. “I don’t care, Alisha. I like you.”
“It doesn’t make a difference if none of it matters to you. All of it matters to me.” This time when she made her way into the crowd, she didn’t look back.

About Shilpa Suraj:

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.

Shilpa on the Web:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

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