J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the category “review”

Another Awesome Review for A Rebel Among Us

I just received this review from Hollywood Book Reviews. Thank you so much for the amazing review!

Title: A Rebel Among Us: A Novel of the Civil War (A Renegade Series) Author: J.D.R. Hawkins 

Publisher: Westwood Books Publishing 

ISBN: 978-1648030796 

Pages: 493 

Genre: Romantic Action & Adventure / War & Military Action Fiction Reviewed by: Jack Chambers 

Hollywood Book Reviews 

One of the things that people rarely ever think about or consider when discussing the impact of war throughout history is the immediate aftermath. There are many books written about the long-term effects war has on things like the economy, a nation’s power on the world stage, and politics as a whole, but the study of how we as individuals interact with one another in the wake of war and the mental struggle which occurs with those who fought in wars is rarely given enough attention. The need to advocate for peace in the wake of war is essential, and as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace.”

In author J.D.R. Hawkins’s A Rebel Among Us: A Novel of the Civil War, the author brings readers back to the popular A Renegade Series with the third book of the franchise. The protagonist, David Summers, finds himself in a whole other world when he wakes up from his injury-induced slumber. After his dreams of chivalry and heroism are quashed by the horrors of the Battle of Gettysburg, a wounded David and his horse are taken in by four sisters in enemy territory who help restore him to health. Deserted by his Confederate brothers in arms, David struggles between his desire to avenge his father’s death and the love he begins to feel for the oldest sister, Anna. As she presents him an interesting offer, he must also contend with his identity being revealed lest he be labeled a traitor by the Union while also coming face to face with Anna’s longtime neighbor, now a Union soldier, who has been in love with her for years, and will stop at nothing to have her heart, even if it means having David arrested. 

The author crafted a truly beautiful, heartbreaking, and emotionally complex narrative. The balance struck between historical fiction and romance was eloquently written here, as the author brought enough of the historical setting and events happening around the cast of characters into their daily lives without sacrificing the personal conflicts or intimate developments that they made with one another. The concept of two very opposed sides of a bloody conflict such as this coming together to find common ground is something which feels more relevant than ever in our modern age, and the ability of the author to showcase all of the underlying causes of the conflict, and the lies and illusions that many average soldiers fell under from their leadership in the war made this story so fascinating to read. 

This is the perfect read for those who enjoy romantic stories, especially those set in a historical fiction setting and who enjoy, in particular, stories surrounding the American Civil War. As a fan of history, I was fascinated with the authors ability to get into each side’s perspective so equally and bring the setting and tone of the era to life so 

naturally, especially without sacrificing the natural character growth and story beats overall. Powerful, thought-provoking, and entertaining, author J.D.R. Hawkins’s A Rebel Among Us: A Novel of the Civil War is the perfect historical fiction romance novel and a great new book in the A Renegade Series franchise. The rich dynamics that are presented between David and Anna especially are great to see, and how these very different groups of people find a way to work through their differences and find common ground in an era filled with untold violence and hatred is amazing to read.

Another Five-Star Review for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

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I was recently interviewed by Linda Thompson of the Author’s Show on her podcast. After the interview, Linda expressed interest in reading my book, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. I’m very flattered with her five-star review. Thank you so much, Linda!

Here is the review:

August 2, 2018
When it comes to war (no matter the era), men tend to gravitate toward the bloody bodies and the weaponry, and while some women think the idea of war as romantic, others are horrified at the cruelty. I’ve never seen war as romantic, anything to be proud of, or even remotely good, and parts of JDR Hawkins book was difficult for me to read. That being said, A Beautiful Glittering Lie is a very good story, well written with extremely engaging characters. The historical aspect is excellent and once I could get my head wrapped around the war and violence, I found this Southern family very engaging. I’m very interested in learning where the next book in Hawkins’ series will take us.

~ Linda Thompson, Host of www.TheAuthorsShow.com

https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Glittering-Lie-Novel-Renagade/dp/1544842481/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

 

Horses in Gray Receives Celebrity Endorsement

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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/.

Two Five-Star Reviews!

Horses in Gray Cover

My new book, Horses in Gray has received two five-star reviews! This is very exciting for me, so I wanted to share. Here is the what the first reviewer wrote:

This is a well written book. I am not the quickest of readers but the reading is easy, and Ms. Hawkins provides much person insight in the men and their horses. I originally bought the book to read about my cousin John Hunt Morgan. However i became engrossed in the book just reading about General Lee and Traveller. I would highly recommend this book not just to those who are interested in the War Between the States, but a very good read for anyone.
Another reviewer wrote a very simple summary.
Love this book fantastic read.
Short but sweet. I love that! Special thanks to Wayne and John for your reviews!

Another 5-Star Review for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

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My novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, received another five-star review! I am so appreciative of readers taking the time to write a review. This is the first book in the Renegade Series, and was previously self-published. It was re-published in May by Foundations, LLC. The review is as follows:

Review – A Beautiful Glittering Lie

A warning to all who think war is some glamourous adventure filled with parades, flags, and stirring martial music – read J.D.R. Hawkins’ novel A Beautiful Glittering Lie. That lie is put to rest here in the book that begins Hawkins’ ‘Renegade’ series placed during the American Civil War and its aftermath. The book is perfect lead-in to the rest of the series that follows David Summers and his family through that horrendous conflict. My only regret about A Beautiful Glittering Lie is that I failed to read it before reading the follow-up books, A Beckoning Hellfire and A Rebel Among Us. Hawkins does an excellent job of presenting those books as stand-alone volumes but they are best read after reading A Beautiful Glittering Lie. That said, this book left me wanting more even though I had already read the other two. Of course, there isn’t more until the next one in the series is published and released.

Portions of Hawkins’ novel are graphic. Any war story will be if it is truly well done. I would not recommend this book for pre-teens and would actually recommend 15 years and up. The story, away from the battle front, however, is truly heartwarming and presents a very realistic picture of the burdens and sacrifices carried by those at home. Though the story is told from the perspective of a Southern family in a region physically devastated by the war, the homesickness, the worry, the suffering, and the grief are universal themes that tragically played out in homes both North and South.

It is no wonder that A Beautiful Glittering Lie is the recipient of numerous rave reviews and awards. I too rate the book a solid five-stars. Hawkins tells me that all three books are in the process of being released in a new format. I think they will be collectors’ items. I have the second two books only on Kindle and look forward to acquiring all three books as the re-released editions. I also eagerly await the fourth book in the series.

Another Five-Star Review for A Rebel Among Us!

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I am so excited to announce that my new novel, A Rebel Among Us, has received another five-star review! Here it is in its entirety:

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

A Rebel Among Us by J.D.R. Hawkins is a Civil War novel with a powerful setting, great and compelling characters, and a plot that leaves readers no chance to put down the story, even for a moment. After the bloody battle of Gettysburg, the Confederates are badly beaten. Hit by a Union picket, David Summers is carried away on a horse to a Pennsylvania farmhouse where he is received and treated by a teenage girl, Anna Brady, and her three sisters. To his great dismay, David learns that his comrades have deserted, but what is more painful is what is happening to him — he is falling in love very fast with Anna. Anna has an unusual proposition for him and he finds himself in a dilemma: should he return to the army or follow through with her plan?

J.D.R. Hawkins has written a story that is as intriguing as it is gripping and there is just no way for the reader not to fall for the well-developed and interesting characters. The setting is wonderful, the Civil War period with many historical references. The plot is well-imagined and expertly executed and the reader feels as though the action is taking place before their eyes. The reader is hooked from the very beginning of the story. When Maggie calls her sister with urgency, telling her someone is in the barn, the reader becomes very curious to know who it is, what he wants, and… yes, there are many questions. The writing is stellar, laced with beautiful, vivid, and compelling descriptions. I love writers who don’t waste words and Hawkins happens to be one of those. She handles the conflict expertly and the different themes, including love, war, and humanity, are beautifully woven into the fabric of the tale. There is a lot that readers will love about this novel, from the gripping plot to the masterful writing, from the conflict to the satisfying finish; they will find A Rebel Among Us to be highly entertaining. One of the best books I have read this year.

My Valentine to You – Another 5-Star Review!

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I just received another 5-star review for my new novel, A Rebel Among Us. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this book! So far, it is doing really great in the ratings. Please let me know if you’re interested in reading it and writing a review, too, and I will be happy to send you an e-book. Thanks for your support! (The review is as follows:)

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There are romance novels and there are romantic novels. Romance novels are generally erotic, predictable, and formula-driven. JDR Hawkins (A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire) brings us in her latest work, A Rebel Among Us, a true romantic novel that is none of those things.

The Civil War is nearly two bloody years from its end. The Battle of Gettysburg has just been fought and has ended badly for Confederate cavalryman, David Summers, and his comrades in arms. Severely wounded and separated from his unit, David is carried by his faithful horse, Renegade, to a Pennsylvania farmhouse miles away from the scene of the carnage. There he is taken in by a late-teenage orphan, Anna Brady, and her younger sisters.

What happens next is a tale of extraordinary compassion that takes place during an era filled with violence, distrust, and bitterness. The story is beautifully written with plot line that is, at the same time, believable but yet filled with intrigue, conspiracy, and necessary deceit. The dialogue flows naturally as does the depiction of normal life on the farm during anything but normal times. We meet Patrick, the caring and helpful Irish bachelor who works a hire on a neighboring farm. We also meet Maggie Brady, the middle sister, torn between her love for her sister and her bitter feelings towards the South. There is Abigail, the child sister – caught in the middle of all of it but too young to really understand any.

I have read numerous Civil War novels and even written one myself. I can truly say that nothing I have either read or written has pulled me into the place and the moment in the way that Julie Hawkins’ story did.

You do not have to be a Civil War ‘enthusiast’ or even a history buff to enjoy this truly enchanting work. I highly recommend it and rate it a well-deserved five stars. I recommend also reading the first two books in the Renegade series before reading this one. I have yet to read A Beautiful Glittering Lie but I already know that it will not disappoint. I am also anxiously awaiting the fourth book in the series.

Greg Seeley

(Thank you, Mr. Greg Seeley!)

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