J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “book”

An Excerpt From Horses in Gray

Here is another excerpt from my nonfiction book, Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses. This one describes the origins of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s horse, Little Sorrel. I hope you enjoy it!

Little-Sorrel-1

 

No one knows the exact origins of a small chestnut horse that came to be known as “Old Sorrel,” or “Little Sorrel.” His story, both tragic and triumphant, made him one of the most famous and beloved horses in history.

On May 1, 1861, Colonel Thomas J. Jackson was deployed to Harpers Ferry, Virginia nine days after the Federals had set fire to the arsenal and armory.1 He was ordered to secure those buildings and command troops from the Valley District who were stationed there. His top priority was training and outfitting his troops with equipments, which meant procuring horses for the army. Fortunately for Jackson, a few days after his arrival, an eastbound train on the Baltimore & Ohio line was seized containing five carloads of cattle and horses. Upon inspection, Jackson chose two horses based on the advice of his quartermaster, Major John Harmon. One horse was a large, muscular stallion, which Jackson named “Big Sorrel.” The other was a small Morgan gelding thought to be eleven years old, gingerbread in color, with no white markings. Jackson named him“Fancy,” and intended to give him to his wife. He then paid the quartermaster for an estimated worth of the animals.

It didn’t take long before Jackson discovered that Big Sorrel was too much horse for him. He was not a good horseman, and the stallion was flighty and gun-shy, so Jackson decided to keep the Morgan for his own instead, and re-named him “Little Sorrel.” Although the scruffy gelding was only fifteen hands high, Jackson took to him because of his pleasant personality and easy gait. Certainly the horse was no beauty, but

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1.The Washington Times, “Bones of Warhorse Will Be Interred Near Jackson” by Martha M. Boltz, July 19, 1997

little_sorrel

perhaps Jackson sensed in him some of the qualities that he demanded of his soldiers and of himself; courage, a willingness to obey orders under any circumstances, and extreme endurance.2

According to Jackson’s wife, Mary Anna Morrison, “… he was well formed, compactly built, round and fat (never “raw-boned, gaunt, and grim,” as he has often been described), and his powers of endurance were perfectly wonderful. Indeed, he seemed absolutely indefatigable. His eyes were his chief beauty, being most intelligent and expressive, and as soft as a gazelle’s.”

Little Sorrel amused his master by lying on the ground like a dog when he slept. He would also supposedly roll over and lie on his back with his feet up in the air. Jackson treated his horse like a pet, and constantly gave him apples for treats.

Little Sorrel’s appearance seemed to match that of his master’s. One of his soldiers, volunteer William Andrews, wrote that Jackson was “a very ordinary looking man of medium size, his uniform badly soiled as though it had seen hard service. He wore a cap pulled down nearly to his nose and was riding a rawboned horse that did not look much like a charger, unless it would be on hay or clover. He certainly made a poor figure on horseback, with his stirrup leather six inches too short, putting his knees nearly level with his horse’s back, and his heels turned out with his toes sticking behind his horse’s fore-shoulder.3

Jackson also had a tendency to slouch over in the saddle when he rode. Even though he was considered eccentric because of his odd habits, such as raising his arm above his head to improve circulation and sucking on lemons, his men adored him because he didn’t put on airs. He ate what they ate, suffered along with them, and prayed openly.

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2. His Kingdom for a Horseby Wyatt Blassingame, Books for Libraries Press, © 1957, p. 128

3. Stonewall Jackson’s Book of Maximsby James I. Robertson Jr., Cumberland House, ©2002, p. 49

Spotlight: Lost & Found

I would like to share the third of three beautiful children’s books written by Arundhati Nithiyanandhan, an amazing and very talented 7-year-old.

Lost

About the Book:
Osito is Arundhati’s favorite soft toy. He is also one of her constant companions when she goes on vacation to her family. He has travelled with her to Melbourne, Singapore, Shimla, Bekal, Udaipur among other places. During these trips, he has also been on small adventures where Arundhati has inadvertently misplaced him and later found him, much to her relief!
This story is about one such incident that happened in Udaipur Lake Palace and how Arundhati got her favorite travel buddy back.
About the Author:

Arundhati (Aru) is seven years old and lives in Bangalore, India. She got inspired to tell stories after drawing her first storybook in a storytelling workshop conducted by #blrlitfest 2017. She loves telling new stories to her father while they both go for a walk in the evening.

Aru and her father have taken this journey further and have successfully published 3 children storybooks which have captured the imagination of 7 years old and the professionalism of an adult. Aru creates her stories from her day to day incidents and most of them are treasured part of her childhood. She loves to play in the sand and color sketches.

Spotlight: The Missing Fairy Princess

The Missing Fairy Princess copy

About the Book:

“The Missing Fairy Princess” is the story of a 16-year-old fairy princess pitted against a powerful witch. The witch has stolen a potent new mantra developed by a colleague, ruthlessly snuffing out a brilliantly innovative mind.  She then hatches an elaborate plot to frame an adversary for her misdeed. Her intention is to exact sweet revenge from her foe and at the same time, get away with the theft. The victim, caught in her vicious web, is doomed to disgrace and a life sentence on a harsh penal colony. Meanwhile, the witch learns from her crystal ball, about an imminent threat from a fairy princess wearing a pink tiara.  To ward off that threat she kidnaps the fairy princess, wipes her memory clean and then turns her into a two-year-old girl.  

Unfortunately for the culprit, she has goofed up by kidnapping the wrong fairy princess, Merlyn, instead of Ashlyn, her twin.  The mistake turns out to be the undoing of the witch because Ashlyn proves to be her nemesis. The brilliant fairy princess exposes the cobweb of misleading evidence fabricated by the witch, ultimately unmasking her.

If you love mystery, whodunit, with a dash of magical realism and sci-fi, this book is for you.

Buy Links:

Amazon India:  https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07T81C748

Amazon USA:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T81C748

Walter SP Author copy

About the Author:
After spending over 25 years in the Middle East, the author, aged 75, now leads a retired life.  He lives with his wife and son in Thane, near Mumbai. He has been passionate about writing from his early days.  His first book was a fast-paced sci-fi novel titled “This Nightmare is for Real”, was self-published. That was followed by a historical fiction titled “Bheem – The Sage of Madhavpur”, again a self-publication.  A third book, a fairy tale titled “The Missing Fairy Princess” which was published on Kindle Select during the first week of June 2019, while a fourth on the oft-discussed topic of cross-border terrorism titled “The Carnivore has a Heart” is slated for publication shortly thereafter again on Kindle Select.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/waltersalvadore.pereira

Twitter: www.twitter.com/author_walter

Website: https://www.waltersalvadorepereira.com

 

Guest Post:

Imagine this scenario:  You are one of the best in your profession, own a palatial mansion on Beverley Hills, a Bugatti or Lamborghini roaring to go in your garage and tons of dough in your Swiss bank account. Would you be content with your status and crave for nothing more?  Certainly not, because you are human and have a chink in your armor called G-r-e-e-d!

On a parallel note, Zharga is a senior witch, with knowledge of witchcraft second to none, a huge cave on the upper reaches of the Alps with a breathtaking view, a magnificent flying carpet to take her to any place she commands and a magic wand capable of fulfilling any wish of hers.  Does it leave anything more to be desired? Alas, she too is human and greed is one of our built-in flaws!

What triggers it:  The witch overhears a conversation between two colleagues about a potent new mantra developed by one of them.  She cannot resist the temptation to lay her hands on that mantra and in the process ruthlessly snuffs out a brilliant and innovative mind.  Her desire fulfilled, she sets about framing an adversary for the crime. Her agenda is two-fold – to exact revenge from her foe and at the same time, get away with the theft.  The victim caught up in her cobweb, faces disgrace and lifetime imprisonment on a harsh penal colony.

The plot:  Amidst her nefarious activities, the witch is warned by her crystal globe about an impending serious threat from a fairy princess wearing a pink tiara. She at once takes preemptive measures. She captures the fairy princess and destroys her mind.  As an added precautionary measure, she turns the fairy into a two-year-old girl intending to offer her as a sacrifice to her Demon God.

Good prevails over evil:  The witch hasn’t contended with fate.  As it turns out, because of a prank played by the twin of the intended victim, the witch ends up capturing the former – Merlyn instead Ashlyn, her twin.  It is a costly error, one that ultimately results in her undoing as Ashlyn proves to be her nemesis as predicted by the crystal globe. The brilliant fairy princess untangles strand-by-strand the intricate cobweb woven by the crafty witch and finally, unmasks her.

banner-7 copy

 

Book Spotlight: Likes & Dislikes

I would like to share the second of three beautiful children’s books written by Arundhati Nithiyanandhan, an amazing and very talented 7-year-old. According to Aru:

“Like most kids of my age, I have an imagination that takes me to places and make up stories from my everyday life experiences. Only, I have a father who encourages it very much. In fact, he published three of my stories and these are now available on Amazon & Amazon KU as picture books for toddlers.”

So far, Aru and her father have published three books. Please check out the links below and feel free to write a review.

Likes

About the Book

Arundhati and Tanisha are sisters who are also each other’s best friends and spend most of their time together. They play, sing, dance and a considerable amount of time together after school. Knowing their likes and dislikes with respect to objects and correlating them with the five senses help them understand each other better.

This story is inspired by random conversations between the two sisters playing at the terrace.

About the Author

Arundhati (Aru) is seven years old and lives in Bangalore, India. She got inspired to tell stories after drawing her first storybook in a storytelling workshop conducted by #blrlitfest 2017. She loves telling new stories to her father while they both go for a walk in the evening.

Aru and her father have taken this journey further and have successfully published 3 children storybooks which have captured the imagination of 7 years old and the professionalism of an adult. Aru creates her stories from her day to day incidents and most of them are treasured part of her childhood. She loves to play in the sand and color sketches.

Reading level: 1 – 12 years

Paperback: 26 pages

Publisher: White Falcon Publishing

Published On: 24 October 2018

Language: English

ISBN: 978-9388459136

Price: Kindle $1.42 – Paperback $6.99

https://amzn.to/2yA3Zei

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

https://www.facebook.com/doodlesandtales/videos/1847907522001638/

Book Spotlight: Aru’s Balcony Garden

For the next few Tuesdays, I would like to share some beautiful children’s books written by a child herself. Arundhati Nithiyanandhan is only 7 years old! She reached out to me, and describes herself as follows:

“Like most kids of my age, I have an imagination that takes me to places and make up stories from my everyday life experiences. Only, I have a father who encourages it very much. In fact, he published three of my stories and these are now available on Amazon & Amazon KU as picture books for toddlers.”

So far, Aru and her father have published three books. That is so awesome! Please check out the links below and write a review.

Aru

About the Book

Arundhati who lives in an apartment community of a metro city is used to a small garden at her home balcony that is full of blooming plants that she loves. Every morning she likes to spend a moment before leaving to catch her school bus, in the garden looking at the flowers.

This story is inspired by this habit of hers and how she likes to water the plants with her parents.

About the Author

Arundhati (Aru) is seven years old and lives in Bangalore, India. She got inspired to tell stories after drawing her first storybook in a storytelling workshop conducted by #blrlitfest 2017. She loves telling new stories to her father while they both go for a walk in the evening.

Aru and her father have taken this journey further and have successfully published 3 children storybooks which have captured the imagination of 7 years old and the professionalism of an adult. Aru creates her stories from her day to day incidents and most of them are treasured part of her childhood. She loves to play in the sand and color sketches.

Reading level: 1 – 12 years

Paperback: 26 pages

Publisher: White Falcon Publishing

Published On: 24 October 2018

Language: English

ISBN: 978-9388459136

Price: Kindle books $1.42, Paperbacks $6.99

https://amzn.to/2ZpF8WA
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Another Awesome Review

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion

I received another flattering review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Thank you so much, Miss Tammy! Here is her review:

Tammy 81
When I was offered this book to review through voracious readers I was intrigued because I love history. This book was harder for me to read than I thought it would be. It’s hard to read, not because it’s poorly written— because it isn’t, simply due to the facts presented in such a graphic way. I’m sure people know that war isn’t glorious or romantic but thinking about a field with thousands of injured soldiers lying dying or men wearing rags because that is all they have due to fighting so long is hard. Many authors skip over the details or hide them in a story line that hints at war but doesn’t talk much about it. This story is in your face and honest, very well written.

 

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Review

ABGL Medium

I’m proud to present another review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Feel free to share your thoughts!

AuthorsWebTVHost

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.

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion

 

Another Excellent Review

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion

I received another great review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Here is the review:

By Francine1440

A Beautiful Glittering Lie is a historical fiction novel set during the American Civil War. Not being from the States, I have bare bones knowledge of this event in history so I found the author’s detailed telling of events and way of life during this time to be very interesting. The book provides both historical facts and a look at the conditions that both the soldiers and the citizens lived in during the Civil War. I found that some of the facts became rather dry and dragged the story down, although I do realize that they are essential to the story. For the most part, the story is told from the side of the Confederates. I’ve really only ever read information from the other side so I found it very interesting to read the alternate viewpoint. I can’t say I have changed my mind about which side I would have supported during the war but it did open my eyes as to why the Confederates felt the way they did. I found the pace of the book quite slow and I struggled to stay interested but for anyone who is a Civil War buff, this book would make for some entertaining reading. The characters are well developed and realistically written. I enjoyed the variety of personalities in the book, such as David who just wants to be like his dad and fight, and his dad, tough as nails even in horrible conditions. It can be difficult to have a lot of characters and make each one a worthwhile part of a book but the author manages to do this well throughout the whole story. For me, the pace was a bit slow but I realize the author had to do this in order to keep the realism of the story. Sometimes action sequences have to be sacrificed. Overall, I did learn a lot from this book, even with it being fiction, and I will look for more books by this author.

https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Glittering-Lie-Novel-Renagade/dp/1544842481/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=a+beautiful+glittering+lie&qid=1559710417&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Another Awesome Review

Here’s another review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, that I would like to share with you.

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion

(By Anonymous)

The novel is presented as a prequel to the author’s first novel, A Beckoning Hellfire. For someone who has not read it yet, it will be a very interesting story after the prequel. For someone who has read it will be still more interesting to know what lead to it all.

The style is fast paced and exciting but sometimes the descriptive paragraphs about the battle become long-winding. The characters are very well formed and come out as very real three dimensional people with a gamut of feelings and expressions. Especially likable is the chemistry between Hiram and Caroline and their unflinching trust and understanding. The plot is well knit and one incident flows into another.

A Beautiful Glittering Lie, the dream of bravery, adventure gallantry and Chivalry,  pulls David to enlist, and remains intact for him till the end when the children are waiting for Hiram to return home on Christmas.

https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Glittering-Lie-Novel-Renagade/dp/1544842481/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=a+beautiful+glittering+lie&qid=1558506004&s=gateway&sr=8-2

New Review for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

ABGL Medium

I recently received another positive review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, which is the first book in the Renegade Series. The review is as follows:

Tammy 81
When I was offered this book to review through voracious readers I was intrigued because I love history. This book was harder for me to read than I thought it would be. It’s hard to read, not because it’s poorly written— because it isn’t, simply due to the facts presented in such a graphic way. I’m sure people know that war isn’t glorious or romantic but thinking about a field with thousands of injured soldiers lying dying or men wearing rags because that is all they have due to fighting so long is hard. Many authors skip over the details or hide them in a story line that hints at war but doesn’t talk much about it. This story is in your face and honest, very well written.

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