J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “author”

Author Interview Featured

I was recently featured on AllAuthor. Here is the interview. Thanks for checking it out!

Tell us a little bit about your childhood and where you grew up.

I was born in Sioux City, Iowa. When I was one, my parents and I moved to Phoenix, but we moved back to Sioux City when I was six. I have one sister who is two years younger than me.Were you a big reader as a kid too?

I was not much of a reader when I was a kid, although I did like some books that are banned now, like Animal Farm and The Outsiders.At what age did you begin writing your first story?

I started writing stories when I was in junior high, and they were mostly about my friends. Before that, I wrote poems and songs.Which of your childhood dreams was the first to die?

Believe it or not, I wanted to be a jockey because I love horses. But my family lived in the city and I ended up being way too tall.Who all are a part of your family?

I have a wonderful husband who I have been married to for over 40 years. We have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandsons. My husband and youngest son are not really readers, but my older son has helped me out tremendously with my books. He helps to edit them, helped me come up with catch phrases, and even came up with the title for my most recent book.How did you come up with the idea for your book, A Beckoning Hellfire?

The idea came to me as I thought about what my protagonist must have felt, experiencing his first battle. He wants to be part of the excitement, but once he is in it, he realizes it is hell.What are the challenges of writing a nonfiction book?

Lots of research and precise descriptions. I try to incorporate dialogue where I can, so it is not such a boring, textbook read.As a writer, what consumes most of your time?

Research and plotting out the story lines.What is the best review you have gotten for your book, Rebel Among Us?

I have received numerous five-star reviews for this book, as well as some very flattering reviews from editorial reviewers.What is your writing dream? How close do you think you are to achieving it?

I recently became a bestseller, which was a dream. I would like to find an agent so that I can potentially sell more books.How many hours in a day do you write? Typically, 3-6 hours. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter writing?

YesWhat did being an author mean to you as a child?

It meant being an exceptional storyteller. What does it mean to you now? The same thing, only being able to incorporate elaborate detail and character arcs.Do you ever leave book reviews on other authors’ books?

Yes. What do reviews mean to you? They help the ranking of my books, and give me insight into what my readers think.How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written?

So many! Can you tell us about one? I am in the process of writing the fifth and final book in the Renegade Series. The story will open with my protagonist traveling out west in search of his pot of gold.When did you join AllAuthor? Several years ago. What has your experience been like?

My experience with AllAuthor has been fantastic. They support authors and provide tools that help us get the word out about our books.

Bestselling author Julie Hawkins was born in Sioux City, Iowa. She started writing stories when she was in junior high. She is one of a few female Civil War authors. Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, A Beckoning Hellfire, A Rebel Among Us, and Double-Edged Sword. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Read full interview…

Mountain of Authors

I was invited to attend the 16th annual Mountain of Authors event last Saturday. The Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs sponsors the program. The keynote speaker for the event was none other than Craig Johnson, who is the bestselling author of the Longmire books series. The Netflix series is based on his books. I participated in the “Showcase of Authors.” It was limited to 30 participants, all of which were local authors. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other writers of all genres. It was also an opportunity to talk about and sell my books. Thank you, PPLD, for allowing me to participate!

Mr. Craig Johnson and myself.
Some of the other attendees.
Craig Johnson behind the mic. A very nice, funny guy!

Cover Reveal!

Here is the cover for my new book, Double-Edged Sword. I’m so excited that I wanted to share! This book is the fourth one in the Renegade Series. I will post the purchasing link in a couple of days. Please let me know what you think!

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

More Flattering Reviews

I hope y’all aren’t getting tired of my sharing these reviews, but I’m just over the moon with receiving them! I feel very fortunate that I have been able to receive these reviews for my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, in recent weeks. Here are a few more that I’d like to share with you!

Phil Bolos

5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical fiction
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2021
Verified Purchase
A Beckoning Hellfire by J.D.R. Hawkins takes us into the heart of the Civil War and shows us the harsh realities of what it was like to be a soldier in the bloodiest conflict in American history. On Christmas Eve 1862, David Summers finds out that his father has died at the hands of the Union Army. Caught up in rage and seeking revenge, David does the honorable thing and joins the Confederate Army so that he can goes against the Union and get revenge for what happened to his father. But, all honor is quickly forgotten when he is thrown into numerous battles and he sees what war is really like. Revenge begins to fade away as David becomes more focused on just staying alive so that he can get back home again.
I am a big history buff, so reading this was a lot of fun. The author has done a nice job of creating a piece of historical fiction that gives the reader a chance to get a glimpse of what it was like to go through this horrific conflict. I think that fans of history and of fiction will really enjoy this read and the efforts the author took to make this as realistic as possible.


JoJo Maxson

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating novel

Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2021

Verified Purchase

A Beckoning Hellfire: A Novel of the Civil War by J.D.R. Hawkins brings one of our country’s devastating times to life. David Summers is angry, hurt, and wants revenge. He can’t fathom a war that would have killed the man he idolized. His passion now is to make everyone pay who represented a small part in the death of his father. As he fights this war, brother against brother, father against son, he realizes there isn’t glamour or pride when you win a battle. The destruction and despair are unimaginable.

I found J.D.R. Hawkins a skillful writer as she brings the Civil War alive with a fierce reminder of our country torn apart. A Beckoning Hellfire is well-written and a fascinating novel. The characters are just as you would imagine them with hopes, dreams, and disappointments. They strive to live one more day and to keep their family and friends alive. People will show their true light during their darkest days. History lovers will enjoy this novel.


astrofan
5.0 out of 5 stars A look at what it might’ve been like to be the family of a Confederate soldier.

Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2021

Verified Purchase

I would say, if you’re going to go into this easily offended by the vivid descriptions of a Confederate soldier and his family, don’t bother picking this one up. But if you want to know what it might’ve been like to be part of a family whose father has gone off to fight for the Confederacy and was killed, this is the book to get. It’s a vivid look at how ugly the war was and what it’s like to have one’s images of glorious warfare and revenge shattered.

I’m Officially a Best-Selling Author!

Several months ago, I was invited to participate in an anthology titled Success Mindsets. Several other authors and I contributed chapters to the book, describing what we thought success looks like and how we have achieved it. Here is a sample from my chapter:

“There’s nothing like validation to motivate someone, and this was incentive enough for me to keep going, believe in myself, and never give up. Like any career, there are ups and downs, good experiences and bad, but with a success mindset, anything is achievable. I credit my success one hundred percent to all of these attributes: luck, talent, writing habits, persistence and perseverance…

“…Three takeaways I’d like to share, which made a vast difference to me, are perseverance, confidence, and dedication. These three things made me successful, and I believe anyone who has these same attributes has the ability to be successful as well. I have persevered by conquering my obstacles and completing my projects, my confidence in knowing I was capable of creating a work of art and of being the best I can be at my craft has paid off, and my dedication to thoroughly research and accurately communicate gained knowledge about my topic has been rewarding in so many ways.”

Because of my perseverance, I have won several awards, and now I am officially a USA Today bestselling author! I can’t tell you how much this means to me, but I couldn’t have done it without you. It’s because of you that I’m a success. Thank you for your support. It means the world to me!

If you’d like a copy of the eBook, here is the link:

Interview By Sara Louisa

I was recently interviewed by friend and fellow author, Sara Louisa about my books and writing process. Here is the post. I hope you enjoy it! Please check out her website at saralouisaauthor.com. Thank you for the interview, Sara!

Award Winning Author J.D.R Hawkins’ Interview!

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s author interview!

I was absolutely thrilled to interview author J.D.R Hawkins, and get to know her better!

Hawkins began writing at an early age. Music inspired her to write song lyrics, which developed into poems. From there, she branched out into writing short stories, articles, children’s books, and eventually, novels. Hawkins has also written a non-fiction book!

I’m always interested in how fellow authors choose the names of their characters. For me, the name usually comes to mind straight away when starting a new project. Hawkins has an interesting way of finding her characters and putting a name to the person in mind! Hawkins says:

“I researched names in a baby name book, and chose the ones I felt would most closely fit my characters’ personalities.”

Writing the perfect scene is important to an author; we strive for that ‘wow’ factor, and we all have favourite types of scenes to tackle. I personally enjoy writing romantic scenes, and action sequences. Hawkins told me what her favourite scenes are to write, and why.

“I like writing scenes that have an eerie element to them. Mysterious happenings are always fun to write, as well as scenes that show friction between the characters. I enjoy writing dialogue, because it gives me the opportunity to reveal things about the characters and their backstories.”

Authors get their story ideas literally from anywhere, and everywhere: walking, driving, listening to music, or in complete silence. Hawkins says she gets her greatest ideas when it’s quiet in the early morning, or later at night. She says:

“It’s wonderful when an idea comes to me suddenly, but sometimes, it takes several days for an idea to come to fruition.”

J.D.R Hawkins writes about the civil war in her fantastic collection of novels, which I was quite excited to learn about! Canadian and American history is a huge passion of mine, which brought up my next question for Hawkins: Are these incredible novels based on true events?

“Since my novels are about the Civil War, there are many parts that are true. I have to write realistically and factually, or I will get called out by people who are very knowledgeable about this time in American history. Many of the characters are real as well, including Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, etc. My first novel, “A Beautiful Glittering Lie,” is based on the journal of a Confederate soldier.”

Hawkins’ answer was fasinating to me, because as a writer myself, I could just imagine the hours of research that would need to be done for such a project!

I always enjoy learning where fellow authors are from, and a little bit about their personal life. I learned in our interview that Hawkins is a retired postal carrier living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband. They have two sons, one daughter-in-law, and two grandsons.

Hawkins says:

“We also have three fur babies: two dachshunds and a Siamese cat. We love to travel and spend time with our family. My husband and I recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.”

Happy 40th anniversary to you and your husband!

The fourth book in J.D.R. Hawkins’ Renegade Series is due to come out later this year. It is titled “Double-Edged Sword,” and takes up where the last novel, “A Rebel Among Us,” left off.

Huge thank you to J.D.R Hawkins! Congratulations on your up coming release!

You can find J.D.R Hawkins, her books, and information on her website and links! Check out her fantastic book trailer and live interview at: https://jdrhawkins.com/

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Website: http://jdrhawkins.com

New Developments

This past week, I received some recognition, which I would like to share. The first is this: I was chosen as the winner of the 2021 Best of Horn Lake Awards in the category of Book Publishers.

According to the award committee: “The Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. 

“The Best of Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. The selection process does not include nominations, voting, contests or surveys. The Award Program uses only empirical data supplied by independent third-parties as input into our award algorithm.

“Selection as a 2021 Award Winner is determined by the marketing success of your organization in your local community and business category. The Best of Horn Lake Award Program uses information gathered internally in conjunction with third-party data as a part of its selection process.”

The second is this: I was chosen to be featured on a new website called Shepherd. My book, Horses in Gray, is featured on the site. Here is the link: https://shepherd.com/best-books/civil-war-novels

It has been a crazy week in so many ways. Please follow and share! Thank you so much.

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

 

 

Release Day Blitz – Something Old, Something New

Just in time for Valentine’s Day! A compilation of seven bestselling authors, with seven romance stories. Check it out!

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Something Old, Something New
– A DRA Production

Something Old, Something New Cover copy

Seven bestselling authors. Seven incredible second chance romances. One epic anthology.

What would you do for another chance with the one you love? 

Something Old, Something New – a unique novella anthology – tries to answer this question with fantastic, different, desi dramas.

Whether it is shapeshifters or shifting interracial relationships, single moms in small towns or rich alpha heroes, friends-to-lovers or passionate ex-husbands; this anthology has something for everyone.

Something Old, Something New explores the many different facets of love, forgiveness, fated mates and more in seven, distinctly Indian tales!

My Warmest Sorrow

by Preethi Venugopala

Something Old Something New Creative (5) copy

What would you do when you come face to face with your past?

When Ajay, now an IAS officer, is added into his college WhatsApp group, he is welcomed warmly by all his classmates. Except by Diana.

Diana is still living with the repercussions of what had happened in the past. She is thrown into despair by Ajay’s presence in the group.

Diana and Ajay were inseparable while in college. Their relationship had transitioned from being best friends to love overnight. But then fate had intervened in the form of Diana’s tyrant father who had separated them ruthlessly.

Five years of silence has created a wall of sorrow between them. Their interactions in the class WhatsApp group are nothing like what they once used to be. Every moment is churning out more anguish and unpleasantness.

How much have they changed?

Is love still hiding underneath their public facades?

What are the lies they are hiding?

Read an Excerpt from My Warmest Sorrow

My mobile phone rang as I unlocked the door to my flat. Who was calling me now? It was eleven o’clock on a Wednesday night.

As the project deadline was looming near, I had stayed back in the office till nine to complete the chunk of work I had scheduled for today. Structural designing demanded full dedication, even for a small-scale project. And my current project was unbelievably complex.

Wearily, I slumped onto the couch and rummaged in my bag to locate the phone.

“Diana, you won’t believe what happened today. And, where were you? I called you so many times,” shrieked Ashima, my engineering classmate, the moment I answered the phone.

I rolled my eyes but a smile curved my lips. Ashima had a flair for theatrics. What was it now?

“Go slow. I just returned home after a gruelling day. We have a deadline this Saturday.”

“Eek. Be like me and find a government job. The perks of a government job are endless. Private jobs suck, ” said Ashima.

“Now, now… you must go to that magnificent job tomorrow, right? Why are you staying up all night?”

Ashima had been like our dorm room alarm while in college. She dozed off at exactly nine and got up at five in the morning, every day, without fail. What had kept her awake today? Or had her so-called relaxing job altered her lifestyle?

“Idiot, check your WhatsApp messages. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Thank me later. Goodnight for now.”

No! I wasn’t in the mood to drown in some WhatsApp group debate she might have started. Mostly, she called me for some additional support when she was on the verge of losing. Who was she arguing with today? Rahul or Avinash?

Most of my classmates were politically active and any new government decision or policies would undergo acute post-mortem inside our class WhatsApp group. Rahul was a devout follower of the Congress party, Avinash was a self-confessed Modi Bhakt and Ashima was a red comrade entirely. On some days, their arguments would last long into the night. I didn’t have the energy to jump into another such nonsensical discussion. All I wanted to do now was eat and sleep till the alarm rang at seven tomorrow morning.

I switched on the geyser to take a quick bath. Then I transferred the biryani I had bought into a plate and placed it into the oven to reheat it. In the present Bangalore climate, nothing stayed warm for long. I was not fond of the winters. It wasn’t the cold that bothered me, though. The winter season brought back long-lost memories, making me long for the warmth of a specific loving embrace. It also reminded me of my twenty-two-year-old self who had almost given up on life.

By the time I returned from the bath, there were two more missed calls from Ashima. What was wrong with this girl today?

As I dug into the tasty biryani, I turned on my phone data. Notification beeps began. I swiped left till I found the WhatsApp icon. I had 1200 plus unread messages just from the 2013 Civil Gang, my class WhatsApp group. Some serious discussion must be happening. I groaned inwardly. I was certainly not in the mood to drown in nasty arguments. But Ashima would probably kill me if I didn’t hop in and speak my bit.

Avinash and Ashima had sent me private messages as well. What was so urgent?

Curious, I opened the group chat. Avinash had added a new member. Though our class had a total strength of 60 students, there were only 45 were members in the group currently. Many of my former classmates were pursuing higher studies whereas some had landed jobs in distant lands. Hence, we had lost contact with many of them in the five years that had elapsed after graduation. Occasionally, a new member would be found and added by one of the admins. Then there would be a mad rush to get reacquainted with the new entrant.

The name of the person added today drove away all my lethargy in a second. I blinked twice to confirm if I had correctly read the name mentioned in Avinash’s welcoming message. Ajay Menon. Ajay… after all these years?

About the Author:

Preethi Venugopala copy

Preethi Venugopala stepped into the world of words during a sabbatical from her hectic civil engineering job after the birth of her son. She began as a blogger and wrote fiction to pass time. Her debut novel ‘Without You’ came out in 2015 and was received well. She was then mentored by eminent author Anita Nair at her writing platform ‘Anitas Attic’ in 2016. Since then, she has published 7 novels on Amazon and more than 15 short stories in various anthologies and platforms.

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