J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Loving Falltime

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I’m a big fan of autumn, especially since I moved back to Colorado. The golden aspens shimmering against the blue, snowcapped mountains is a sight nothing less than astounding. Fall brings sweater weather, football, and cozy settings. The food is great, too! I love cooking soups and stews in the crock pot, as well as apple cider. Living in the southwest, one of my favorites is green chile. One of the old recipes of the south is Hopping John.

Here is a sample from my upcoming novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is due out next month.

A week before David planned to leave, he decided to break the news to his family. He had waited as long as he could, since he was apprehensive about the event and knew they would try to talk him out of it.

His mother set steaming bowls of Hopping John in front of each of her children, who had gathered around the table. Josie grabbed a spoon and went to take a bite.

“Josephine Summers, you wait till we say grace,” her mother firmly scolded her.

“Sorry, Ma.” Josie set the spoon down.

Carolyn seated herself. She folded her hands, rested her elbows firmly on the table, and glanced around, waiting until her brood had all closed their eyes. “Lord, thank you for this food which we are about to receive. Bless this family, and give us a prosperous year. We pray in your name, Amen.”

“Amen,” her children echoed.

Carolyn passed a plate of fried cornbread to Rena.

“I don’t see how we can prosper this year, Ma, what with the Yankees breathin’ down our necks, and now a tax-in-kind bein’ imposed on us,” David remarked, swirling his spoon around in the bowl of bacon, rice, and sarsaparilla stew. He scooped up a purple-hulled pea, an onion, and some red peppers, but let them fall back into the thickness.

“The army is entitled to whatever we can provide them,” said Carolyn. “If they want us to tithe a tenth of everything we grow, then that’s what we’ll give them.”

“But what if we have a bad crop this year?” asked Rena. She looked across the table at her brother.

“The Good Lord will provide for us, dear,” Carolyn said confidently.

Rena watched her brother swirl his spoon around without taking a bite. “David, ain’t you hungry?” she asked.

Josie snickered. “That would be a first.” She grinned at her brother before shoveling another spoonful into her mouth.

David hesitated. “There’s somethin’ I want to say to y’all.” He let go of the spoon and looked directly at his mother. “I’m fixin’ to jine the army.”

Carolyn immediately stopped eating. He felt like he had put a knife into her heart by the way she glared at him.

“David, I need you here,” she said softly.

“I have to go, Ma.” His voice grew defiantly stronger. “You know I do.”

“No, you don’t, David,” Josie said in a high pitch. She reached across the table, grabbing hold of his wrist. “You don’t have to go.”

“Well, I want to, then. I’m fixin’ to go and that’s final.” He took a deep breath. What had been building up inside of him for weeks had finally been released. The whole episode made him irritated. His mother was about to protest, he knew she would, but he had to make her understand.

“When?” She stared at him with her big hazel eyes.

Feeling his anger subside, his lower lip quivered slightly. “April third,” he said, his voice softening under his mother’s gaze. “The day after my birthday.”

“That’s next week!” Josie exclaimed.

“What about your plans to go to Auburn?” asked Rena.

David snorted. “I can’t go to college now. Not with all that’s happened.” He looked down at his bowl and shrugged. “We don’t have the money, anyways.”

An awkward silence engulfed them.

“I ain’t hungry anymore,” Rena sobbed. She hurried out of the room.

David watched her leave. Guilt swept over him, but he couldn’t waver. He had a duty to fulfill. “Jake’s comin’ with me,” he mumbled.

“Oh, he is, is he?” his mother asked.

“Yes’m.”

“Do his folks know about that?”

“I reckon so.” He glanced over at Josie, who was still eating, but staring at him blankly.

“What about the crops? Have you considered that?” His mother set her spoon down on the table. “It’s more than we can manage, David. You know we have over a hundred acres out yonder.”

“I know, Ma,” he said, his voice softening even more. “Jake’s folks will help out, or their slaves will.”

“Did you speak to them about it?” Carolyn frowned.

He stared at his bowl. “No, but I’m fixin’ to…tomorrow.”

His mother sighed, picked up her spoon, and took a bite. He reluctantly did the same. The mantle clock ticked repetitiously, accentuating the quiet.

“I’m done, Ma,” Josie announced. “May I be excused?”

Carolyn nodded, so Josie rose from her place at the table and departed to the adjoining cabin.

“I’m done, too, Ma.” David said. “May I be excused?”

“You can help me with clearin’ the table. I ain’t done with you yet.”

David clenched his teeth. Under normal circumstances, he usually evaded clearing the table, since he considered it to be women’s work. This was his mother’s way of showing her disapproval, he knew.

Avoiding eye contact, he stood, gathered the dishes, and followed her out the back door. His two coonhounds, who had been waiting patiently, sprang to their feet, their tails wagging furiously.

“Caleb, you ole mutt. Si, you scoundrel,” he greeted them affectionately. He scooped the leftovers into their dish and patted his hounds in an effort to postpone the confrontation with his mother, but finally forced himself to face the inevitable. Leaving the dogs to eagerly devour their food, he entered the small wooden kitchen building. Heat from the cook stove engulfed him; the smell of fried bacon still lingered. He set the empty bowls down next to the wash basin near a burning kerosene lamp. As he turned to leave, Carolyn grabbed hold of his forearm, compelling him to look at her.

“I know I can’t talk you out of this, because you think it’s your duty and you want to do it for your pa.” She stared deeply into his eyes.

He slowly nodded, and bowed his head. It became apparent to him that his sagacious mother had known his intentions all along, for she could always read his thoughts and feelings.

“David, look at me when I’m speakin’ to you,” she instructed.

He timidly obeyed.

“That horse of yours will die of a broken heart if you don’t take him along. And besides that, he knows how to git out of his stall, and he’ll jist go chasin’ after you.”

She gave him a sad smile. He faintly smiled in response.

“Jist promise me one thing.” She held tightly onto his arm. The flame flickered, punctuating the uncomfortable, sudden stillness.

“What’s that, Ma?” he asked quietly.

“That you and Jake will git in with the cavalry. I’d feel a whole lot better if you did.”

“But, Ma, how will we kill any Yankees if we’re in the cavalry?”

She frowned. “I reckon you’ll find a way.”

David chuckled, but seeing his mother’s hardened gaze, quickly let the smile fade from his lips. “I don’t know if ole Stella can make the journey,” he said.

“Ole Stella will do jist fine. Now, you promise me.” She grasped tighter onto his forearm to the point where it was starting to hurt.

“All right, Ma. I promise.”

She released her grasp. “And you make sure Jake promises his folks. I know ya’ll think it’s one big romp, but I can’t lose you.” She turned away, stirred the cinders in the wood-burning stove, and started heating up water for the dishes.

“Ma, I’ll be all right.”

He gave her a quick peck on the cheek. His mother didn’t react. He turned, exited out of the kitchen, and glanced back. She was still facing away from him. Sauntering across the yard, he passed the well and the two outhouses and went into the house. Respectfully, he tidied up the table for her before retreating to his room. He could hear his sisters’ muffled voices seep through the wall as he plopped onto his bed and positioned a down pillow under his head. The entire episode had left him exhausted and emotionally drained. Tomorrow will be another day, he reasoned to himself and closed his eyes. Lying across the bed with his feet hanging over the edge, he drifted off.

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Book Blast – Children’s Classic Stories

 

BannerAbout the Book:

This gorgeous treasury of ten classic stories is guaranteed to delight and entertain young children, bringing the magic of traditional stories to the new generation of children. Aimed at 8-12 year olds, each favourite fairy tale or story has been sensitively retold for young readers.

The series ‘Children’s Classic Stories’ contains total 100 stories in 10 volumes. The stories in this collection show the consequences of greed, pride, and vanity, but also tell of the love that grows from a kind heart and a cheerful nature.

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Volume 1 includes the following stories:

  1. Little Red Riding Hood
  2. Cinderella
  3. Hansel and Gretel
  4. Sleeping Beauty
  5. Snow White and Rose Red
  6. The Emperor’s New Clothes
  7. Rumplestiltskin
  8. The Wise Little Girl
  9. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  10. Rip Van Winkle

Goodreads * Amazon

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About the Author:

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. She is the author of All Signs Lead Back to You, When Our Worlds Collide, The Guitar Girl and The Secret Proposal. She compiled and edited the 10 volumes series, ‘Children’s Classic Stories’ with love and great efforts.

Website * Twitter * Instagram * Facebook

 

“The Unity Game” Is Science Fiction With Philosophy

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WHAT IF THE EARTH YOU KNEW WAS JUST THE BEGINNING?

A New York banker is descending into madness.

A being from an advanced civilization is racing to stay alive.

A dead man must unlock the secrets of an unknown dimension to save his loved ones.

From the visions of Socrates in ancient Athens, to the birth of free will aboard a spaceship headed to Earth, The Unity Game tells a story of hope and redemption in a universe more ingenious and surprising than you ever thought possible.

Metaphysical thriller and interstellar mystery, this is a ‘complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’ from an exciting and original new voice in fiction.

Goodreads * Amazon

Reviews for The Unity Game

“A complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel.” ~~ Kirkus Reviews

“Elegantly written, expertly crafted and a moving message. I found this book very hard to put down. Moving and poignant.” ~~ Lilly, Amazon US reviewer

“An engrossing, unique, and totally bizarre tale! I could not stop reading it once I started. Such a beautiful take on the afterlife, and its connection to those still living. A unity game, indeed!”~~ Brenna, Goodreads reviewer

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About the Author

Leonora Meriel grew up in London and studied literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Queen’s University in Canada. She worked at the United Nations in New York, and then for a multinational law firm.

In 2003 she moved from New York to Kyiv, where she founded and managed Ukraine’s largest Internet company. She studied at Kyiv Mohyla Business School and earned an MBA, which included a study trip around China and Taiwan, and climbing to the top of Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak and part of the Carpathian Mountains. She also served as President of the International Women’s Club of Kyiv, a major local charity.

During her years in Ukraine, she learned to speak Ukrainian and Russian, witnessed two revolutions and got to know an extraordinary country at a key period of its development.

In 2008, she decided to return to her dream of being a writer, and to dedicate her career to literature. In 2011, she completed The Woman Behind the Waterfall, set in a village in western Ukraine. While her first novel was with a London agent, Leonora completed her second novel The Unity Game, set in New York City and on a distant planet.

Leonora currently lives in Barcelona and London and has two children. She is working on her third novel.

Website

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Writing about violence as a peaceful person

Whatever kind of writer you are, your books will have characters that span the range of human emotions. Love, passion, bravery, fear, anger, elation, jealousy, despair, hope – during an author’s lifetime, the people who come to play their parts in the pages your tales will experience all of these. And somewhere along the lines, two men will fight a duel over a lady, or a mother will defend her children by killing a zombie with a sawn-off shotgun, or a soldier will take her first shot into enemy territory.

For better or worse, violence is a part of the society around us – albeit the very worst part, and a part that many people struggle to avoid and rid from our civilization. And yet, that can make it even more appealing as a subject to a writer, as it fits so well into the larger story of Good vs. Evil. Violence is a manifestation of evil; or it is an incredible act of heroism; or it is instinctive self-defense. There are many forms and threads that physical harm can take.

As a deeply peaceful person, I had not expected to find myself writing about violence of any kind. I have never been subjected to it, short of witnessing some street incidents in big cities, and my experience has been from second-hand observation of the society around us. When I read books, I try as much as possible to avoid descriptions of violence, and it is the one subject that will cause me to skip forward a few pages, if I think that the depictions of dreadful acts will root too deeply into my head and I will be struggling to purge them for years. Films, also, are often hard for me to watch, and I will happily turn something off if it is crossing my line of comfort, or even walk out of a movie theatre (Clockwork Orange and Kill Bill to date).

And yet, in my second novel, The Unity Game, my main character decided to kill. The novel is a metaphysical thriller with elements of sci-fi, and the murder had layers of meaning beyond the physical act, and yet I found myself easily writing this scene that in another book might horrify me. When I came to the editing stage, I considered re-writing the plot and removing it. And yet I couldn’t. My character had committed this deed, and I had to follow the consequences of the person who had manifested themselves in the pages before me. The murder stayed.

Later, as I thought about what I had written, and the actions of my character, I realized that it was perhaps because of my stance as a peaceful person, dedicated to bringing positivity to the world, that I had been drawn to explore this topic. How could someone be drawn to violence? How is it possible for human beings, who are born in total vulnerability to loving parents, come to shed blood, to harm, or to take other lives? If I was truly committed to my peaceful stance on the world, then I had to understand the motives and threads that draw someone into this mindset. And this is what I had done with my main character. I had explored a topic that I was fascinated by, in order to comprehend the situation I cared about.

The ease with which I wrote the scene, and with which my character turned to violence shocked me. When I was creating the events, I was inside my character’s head, and yet surely I was simultaneously tapping into a deep part of myself – the part that every human being has that is capable of violence.

The experience of this humbled me, and made me even more dedicated to understanding the causes violence in our world. In my next novel perhaps I will continue to explore this topic that is so relevant in modern society – and at the same time, seek for solutions in the pages of my books, and in the world around me.

 

Dishonoring Memphis’ History

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Memphis just can’t leave well enough alone. In 2013, the city council voted to change the names of three parks in the city, specifically Forrest Park, Confederate Park, and Jefferson Davis Park, to names more politically correct and anti-Confederate. It’s astonishing to me how some Southern cities like New Orleans, Charlottesville, Dallas, and of course, Memphis, want to disregard their history. Not only that, but some members of the city council want to move General Forrest and his wife’s bodies from Forrest Park (they are now buried beneath the statue of the general on King Philip) and move them to Elmwood Cemetery. There is a reason General Forrest and his wife were moved to Forrest Park from Elmwood Cemetery in 1905: out of enormous admiration and respect. Now the city wants to disregard this and display flagrant disrespect.

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MEMPHIS CHAMBER OPPOSES MONUMENTS

The Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce is mobilizing support for Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s request for a State waiver to allow the City to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in violation of State Law.

In advance of the Oct. 13 meeting on the Tennessee Historical Commission, where Strickland will make his case, the chamber’s board of directors has drafted a letter “in behalf of the business community.”

The letter calls the statue of the Confederate general, “one of several divisive symbols that hamper our city’s efforts to attract and retain top talent for the skilled workforce that is critical to our success.”

The Chairman of the Historical Commission has told Mayor Strickland that the Commission will not hear the city’s request for a waiver at the Oct. 13 meeting in Athens, Tennessee.

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(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Oct. 6, 2017 ed.)

War Is Hell (Even When It’s Not a Battle)

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The tragedy that happened in Las Vegas last Sunday was terrible and possibly avoidable. How one psycho can premeditate such carnage is beyond my comprehension. The Vegas Strip suddenly became a war zone, changing hundreds of lives forever. My heart and prayers go out to all the people and their families who were effected by this disturbed individual.

It’s interesting how, when such a terrible thing happens, people come together to defend and protect one another. This is an admirable part of human nature. There are many reported instances of this happening in wartime. During the Civil War, Clara Barton risked her own life to go out onto the battlefield and help wounded Union soldiers. Although they fought on different sides, soldiers crossed enemy lines to assist one another.

One such soldier was Confederate Sergeant Richard Rowland Kirkland. Following the Battle of Fredericksburg, Kirkland risked his life by crossing the Federal line to give suffering northern soldiers drinks from his canteen. His actions were so revered that a statue was erected depicting his selfless act. Sadly, Sergeant Kirkland was killed less than a year later at the Battle of Chicamauga.

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Here is a brief excerpt from my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, describing Sergeant Kirkland’s actions. This description takes place following the Battle of Fredericksburg.

It had stopped raining, but bitter cold replaced it. Upon returning to camp, Bud and his comrades learned that they had lost five, with seventeen wounded. Their regiment didn’t fire a single shot. The Yankees, it was estimated, lost over nine thousand after making fourteen assaults that were all beaten back. The men heard of one brave soul, Sergeant Kirkland of South Carolina, who acquired a reputation as the “Angel of Marye’s Heights” for crossing enemy lines and benevolently tending to the Union wounded by providing them with blankets and water. John Pelham, an Alabama son who was in charge of Jackson’s artillery, received praise from General Lee for bravely executing an effective barrage by deceiving the Yankees into thinking his numbers were far greater than they actually were, and holding their lines in the process.

The Alabamians were told that Fredericksburg had been left in terrible condition. The Yankees were allowed to freely loot, ransack, burn, and pillage anything and everything, which infuriated the Rebels.

Is This Awesome Or What!?

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Over the weekend, I was informed by my United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) chapter’s president that I won an award at the annual Mississippi convention. What an amazing honor! I am so humbled to receive this special award for the publication of my two books, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and Horses in Gray, during the past year, and to win the award for my UDC chapter, Varina Howell Davis #2559.

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion       Horses in Gray Cover

(Click on books for purchasing info.)

The annual Mississippi UDC convention was held last weekend in Gulfport. This is a beautiful city near Biloxi. I can’t thank the Mississippi UDC division enough for this very special honor.

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To learn more about the Mississippi United Daughters of the Confederacy, please visit: http://mississippiudc.homestead.com/.

Visit my UDC chapter’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1327342747312231/

Book Blast – Lean into Relationships

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Doubt has pivoted many a relationship across the centuries. Whether it is Othello suspicious of Desdemona or through the rise of paranoia as a trope in twentieth century writings. While paranoia naturally suggests the vulnerability of individual mind to social rhetoric, it is also the space for deep interrogation of the individual that renders him/her to paranoia. This novel presents that doubt has the potential to be a space of liberation.

Madeeha works in Jordan to rehabilitate Syrian refugees. Zehen, a political analyst from India, meets her in the US during their social impact program. He is intrigued and charmed by her, and falls deeply in love. But the world political climate, with its accompanying cultural narratives about terror and pain, infects Zehen’s mind. Zehen begins to suspect Madeeha as a possible mujahid. Will he find his truth?

Fear doesn’t devastate; it stirs the inner pot. It is a tender love story that triumphs heartbreaks and sets the foundation of deep lasting future relationships – a delightful emancipation from social intrigues and cultural constraints.

Goodreads * Amazon

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Read an Excerpt

Zehen was experiencing sweet joy in his heart. Memories bustled in the head.

When did he first see her? Zehen searched his head madly. Orientation session? Corridor to the classroom? However, he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint the moment. A whirr of images, of moments, yet-to-be collaged. And a heart that already had a narrative, waiting to be inset.

We imagine that all romantic stories will have a sigh-worthy romantic beginning. But beginnings are when the heart awakens, when the soul remembers. A presence stills and emerges from the shadows of time.

His first memory was when she introduced herself in the class. They had gathered at Presidium University for a one-year course on Social Impact Leadership. Outside, the white fringe tree was laden with its grape-like fruits. The pine, oak and spruce waited for winter to tell the world how unchangeable they were. And the old Redwood stood proud like the institution itself. Inside, in the warm classroom, students from various cultures across the world had gathered. Icebreaker session was on and the usual round of introductions.

Introduction is a ritual. A cumbersome ritual. How does one reduce the tapestry of one’s entire existence, the colors, and the many weaves into a single palatable thread?

Anecdote

I published my first book in 2015 and my second book in early 2016. I was single at the time and using dating apps to meet other single people. I met a girl in mid-2016 who took fancy to my dating profile, especially that I am an author. After a couple of meetings, She demanded that I write about her. I jokingly told her that I am a Phoenix writer, i.e., I fall in love, get dumped, and write about my failed relationship. She broke-up with me, and still invariably pings whether I am including ‘her and our relationship’ in my upcoming book.

The genesis of this book came about while I was on a cross-country train ride in the US. I met Mark who had been a successful marketing professional with considerable international marketing experience. He had travelled to all of Asia and understood the regional peculiarities.

He was later diagnosed with lung cancer. By the time, it was detected, it was stage 3. He was put under radiation and intensive chemotherapy. He went in for three other opinions. All of them agreed that the cancer was aggressive and spreading fast. He searched for the latest treatments and sought to enter clinical trials. The process lasted for two years.

In the meantime, the cancer advanced. The doctors said the cancer was incurable and he didn’t have long to live. It took him weeks of denial to come around to the truth – he didn’t have long to live.

He returned home from a long walk one evening and asked himself a crucial question: “If I am going to die, then I might as well die straight away. What is point of waiting for death to show up?”

That evening he ate well, watched a movie with his girlfriend, poured himself a rare scotch and sat at his study. It was time. He wrote out his letter – love and wishes to his family, loved ones and friends, his last wishes about funeral, information on his will, and a general note thanking all. He placed it in an envelope. He planned to kill himself early morning. He finished his scotch, brushed and went to bed.

In the middle of night, he woke up to a noise. The light was on in the study and he could hear sniffles. He walked cautiously up and there in the study, his girlfriend was holding his suicide letter and crying. He watched her as her body crumpled and sink into chair. Her face contorted in agony. In her face, he saw what was the consequence of his action. The penny dropped.

I paled and listened in horror. Mark continued, “I realized that our life is never ours. We are nothing but a bundle of emotions for the people who love us and the people we love. The meaning of life is to optimize for the happiness of such people. There’s nothing more to living.

That day on, I have been living for maximizing the happiness of my loved ones”

That’s how I stumbled on lean in to relationships; it has become my life philosophy.
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About the Author

I was born into poverty. At the time of my birth, my parents shared a one -room hut with six other family members in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Delhi.

It was a hot day in the month of March 1995. I was in standard 4th and had an examination the following day. As was regular in that locality, we didn’t have electricity that day. I couldn’t study or sleep properly. One of the watershed moments happened when I came back from school the next day. We had an inverter installed at home. I knew we couldn’t afford an inverter. But my dad was always convinced that the way out of poverty for our family is through education.  

Despite an interest in creative writing, I chose to study a subject that society values more – Finance.  Later, I got into one of the top colleges for finance in the country. My first salary out of college (in 2007, when I was 20 years old) was higher than that of my dad’s salary at the time.

When I was 24 years old, I had everything that makes one happy – loving parents, great partner, close-knit group of friends, and career path that exceeded every goal. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t sad either; but it never felt like my life. I had carefully and meticulously built that life though. Contextually, it was the safe thing to do.

Following year though, I had to deal with the loss of my 7 year old relationship and of my 5 year old job. My identity was crushed. My biggest lesson was that you can fail at what you don’t want, and what you consider safe; you might as well take a chance at what you truly want.

Next year, I got my ‘ideal’ job but walked away from it. Failure had taught me to be more ambitious and audacious. I had reached a point in my life where I wanted my work to have more meaning; and to stand for something more important than myself.

I started a political consulting company to maneuver social ascendance of marginalized communities by equalizing access to political capital.  I primarily did topical research for MPs for their debates in the parliament and on TV shows.  Partial project list includes:

  1. Providing 108 rape survivors with medical, legal, financial, and social support over six months through one of my client’s NGO
  2. Getting amendments passed in the communal violence bill that tackle systemic bias towards Muslims
  3. Helping three social entrepreneurs raise a combined total of INR 43 lakhs from their MP for community initiatives

Along with running my own company, I focused on my passion for writing and traveling as well.  I solo travelled to all seven wonders of the world, and did two-cross country trips by train in India and in the US.  I have also written and published three fiction novels.

Blog * Facebook * LinkedIn * Twitter * Rishabh Jhol Google+

 

The Xenton Chronicles: The Lost Heir

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If you had superpowers, would you give them up to be normal again?

The Xenton, being victorious against the world’s most notorious villain, Griflore, and stopping a full-scale invasion, have achieved world peace on their planet of Earth. Still, unexplained happenings are occurring all over the world. With the maniacal bounty hunter, Shuriek, still on the trail of the unknown Prince Ziehr, our heroes will have no time to waste. Meanwhile, Dye, who has become an unsuspecting target for the new Xenton, Cymber, is experiencing an identity crisis. Riley has been getting stronger and the war for dominance over Dye’s body escalates. He is beginning to see his powers as a curse and wants nothing more but to become normal again. Of course, that would be asking too much. When Dye has a dream that he believes to be foretelling the destruction of his world, he has no choice but to remain faithful to his duties. With the help of his siblings, Corrine, Sam, Jason, Mack, and guardian, Arayan, they race to HELP the Prince, and save the world once more.

Everything you know about the Xenton will change. Startling revelations and hardships await our heroes. However, answers to many questions still remain, who is the Prince? Can the Xenton reach him before Shuriek does? And who is the Man in the White Suit? These and many more questions will be answered in this third installment and first half of the epic finale of the Xenton Chronicles. Hope is nothing without courage.

The Xenton Chronicles: The Lost Heir is set for release September 29th, 2017.


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About the Author

  1. M. Calloway is the creator of the Xenton-Verse. His flagship superheroes, the Xenton made their debut in the book series The Xenton Chronicles which spans four books that chronicles the adventures of his superheroes. With the success of his original series, Calloway decided to expand on that universe and introduce new characters, concepts, and story arcs.

    In 2012, he launched his brand Heroic Studios. Since then, Calloway has produced and published a comic book series, The Wrath of Steelis, which expands on the story and concepts introduced in The Xenton Chronicles. Since then, Calloway has been working on various projects to release. In light of the 5-Year anniversary of Heroic Studios, Calloway has revised, re-edited, and will be re-releasing the The Xenton Chronicles book series as Special Anniversary Editions quarterly throughout 2017.

Some of his inspiration for writing are various superhero stories such as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Spiderman, various comic books such as The Flash and Superman as well as anime such as Naruto, Bleach and some sci-fi. One of the major elements in his writing is time travel as well as the conundrum of interdimensional travel as well as multiverse travel. The Xenton-verse is very specific to Calloway as he plans to explore the multiverse of the Xenton with alternate timelines, time travel and various other quantum leaps in the form of books and comic books in the near future.

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Visit Heroic Studios website at 2Bheroic.com. You can also follow Calloway (Heroic Studios) on social media to keep up with current projects and what’s happening within the Xenton-verse as well as his Patreon in which has exclusive perks for fans of the series!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeroicStudiosComics/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/heroic_studios

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heroic_studios/

Snapchat: Heroic Studios

Tumblr: https://heroicstudios.tumblr.com/

Webtoons: http://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/the-xenton-chronicles-the-wrath-of-steelis-/list?title_no=90826

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HeroicStudios

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/W.M.-Calloway/e/B00F1QIIRU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1506470918&sr=8-1

 

A special note to readers: In celebration of Book 3’s release, you can download Book 1 for free and purchase Book 2 for only $0.99. Hurry before this great sale ends!!!

Moving Day (Again)

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This is moving week for my husband and me. It has been crazy so far, but luckily, we haven’t broken anything (yet). We have managed to lose a few things, but hopefully, they will turn up. In the past four years, we have moved nine times, and we’re not even in the military! It has been a crazy ride but we have met a lot of wonderful friends along the way.

Moving is never an easy task, but it had to be much harder for Southerners who lived during the Civil War and were forced to evacuate before the invading army came along to steal their belongings and do unspeakable things to civilians. Marauding Union soldiers burned and took everything, leaving only what they thought was inedible and/or unsalvagable.

It was also very difficult to be in the military and be told to move in a moment’s notice. My novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, is soon to be re-published, so stay tuned for a new book cover and some updated edits. In the meantime, here is an excerpt from the book, describing how the Confederate cavalry had to move quickly and without much notice.

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(Original Book Cover)

On Tuesday, June 16, General Stuart departed with the brigades of Beverly Robertson and Rooney Lee, now under the command of General John Chambliss. Before he left, the general issued a congratulatory order to his remaining troopers, which was read to the men during roll call.

“With an abiding faith in the God of battles, and a firm reliance on the saber, your successes will continue. Let the example and heroism of our lamented fallen comrades prompt us to renewed vigilance and inspire us with devotion to duty.”

The cavalrymen were informed that they was to serve as a counter-reconnaissance screen, thereby preventing Pleasanton’s Union cavalry from discovering General Lee’s objective, which was to cross over into Pennsylvania. Within a few days, General Hampton’s brigade, after being told to prepare three days rations, broke camp and departed north.

The day was extremely hot and humid, but the men did their best to distract themselves from their discomfort. While they rode, the Georgians sang at the top of their lungs.

 

“Sittin’ by the roadside on a summer day,

Chattin’ with my messmates, passin’ time away,

Lyin’ in the shadows underneath the trees,

Goodness, how delicious, eatin’ goober peas!

 

“I wish this war was over, when, free from rags and fleas,

We’d kiss our wives and sweethearts and gobble goober peas.

Peas! Peas! Peas! Eatin’ goober peas!

Goodness, how delicious, eatin’ goober peas!”

 

The Georgians sang with such exaggerated conviction that David couldn’t help but chuckle. Once he’d learned the lyrics, he happily joined in, and boisterously sang along, too.

Later on in the day, the horsemen learned that General Stuart and his brigades had engaged in a battle near the small towns ofAldie and Middleburg. Heros Von Borcke, Stuart’s Prussian aide-de-camp, had been seriously wounded, and was expected to be incapacitated for quite some time. Upon hearing the news, David became greatly disappointed, since he had been looking forward to the day when he could race the colonel. Now he wondered if the opportunity would ever present itself.

The troopers continued their quest. Encountering a pontoon bridge that the Confederate cavalry ahead of them had constructed, David and his comrades crossed the Chickahominy River. That evening, a skirmish broke out between Hampton’s brigade and a Union regiment, but fighting ended when a rainstorm rolled in, covering the countryside with complete darkness as it burst open in a thunderous downpour. The Rebels were driven into the woods, where they were forced to spend the night wet, cold, and miserable.

Rain fell incessantly throughout the night and into the morning, drenching the men to the core. It was replaced by sweltering heat and humidity that afternoon. As night fell, a hailstorm erupted, pummeling the horsemen with stones the size of hens’ eggs. Unable to set their tents up in time, some of the men pulled heavy overcoats over their heads, which provided their only shelter. With only prepared rations to eat, they shivered in the chilly rain while they waited for morning to finally arrive. When it did, the overcast sky constantly released drizzle. The cavaliers mounted up and continued their march, reaching General Stuart’s brigades later that afternoon. No fighting had taken place this Saturday, May 20, due to the inclement weather, so they rested and cared for their horses, seeking cover in the woods behind a stone parapet. The cavalry was now over five thousand strong. Officers instructed the troopers not to release any information about their mission if they were captured.

Horses in Gray Receives Celebrity Endorsement

Horses in Gray Cover

My new book, Horses in Gray, has received a special endorsement from Mr. Patrick Gorman. If you are unfamiliar with who he is, Mr. Gorman played Confederate General John Bell Hood in the movie Gettysburg. He has also starred in many other movies, including Gods and Generals, Three Days of the Condor, Wild Bill, and Rough Riders. Mr. Gorman has appeared on numerous TV shows as well.

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Mr. Gorman’s endorsement is as follows:

“Civil War history buffs can supplement their knowledge with these well researched horse tales. Your heart will go out to these seldom mentioned heroes, the mount of the Confederacy.”

Thank you, Mr. Gorman, for your endorsement! To learn more about this amazing actor, visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0331112/.

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