J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “general”

Book Blitz – Curse of Dragon’s Claim

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About the Book

The flame within a dragon warrior’s heart awakens Arianna’s passion as she begins a journey in which she will discover she’s something more than she ever imagined possible.

The realm of the dragons is a world of magic, danger, and mystery. For centuries they’ve been at war with the vampires, but now the two enemies must work together to save all immortals, and the mortals they co-exist with, from an ancient evil. In order to do so, they need the help of the Forsaken, descendants of immortals who were cast out into the human realm, their memories wiped clean of their true heritage.

Clayne MacDagon is a powerful dragon warrior who is sent on a mission to find one of the Forsaken. Although he’s told that this woman is his fated mate, he can’t believe it could possibly be true. Arianna Mergliano possesses both dragon and vampire blood, and Clayne has an intense hatred for anything even remotely related to vampires, the evil beings who were responsible for his beloved twin’s death.

When Arianna meets Clayne, she’s convinced that the man is insane, or maybe he’s a warlock or even the devil himself, but whichever it is, she wants nothing to do with him.

Clayne knows he can’t fail at his mission. And once he meets Arianna he also knows that what he’s been told is true—she is, ironically, his intended mate.

Convincing her to accept him is only the beginning. He has to protect her from those who might want her dead. Together, they must face the shadows and evil that have long plagued the immortal realms and find a way to survive the coming war.

Curse of a Dragon's Claim Cover

Excerpt

Curse of the Dragon Claim Book Two

Curse of the Dragon Claim

“Arianna, please come and sit down so I can fix your hair.” Alba waved Arianna over to the chair in front of a long mirror.

“Sorry, I’m excited. Can’t sit down.” Nevertheless, Arianna obeyed Alba’s direction and sat down.

“We must be ready to leave within an hour. It’s quite a drive to the Allegretti summer home. I’m eager to spend time there. It’s beautiful.” Alba flitted around as she brushed then braided Arianna’s long tresses. “I’ve laid your emerald dress out. If you approve, I’ll pack it. I’ve another for you to travel in.” She pointed to the yellow traveling dress.

Arianna looked toward the bed where her garments were laid out in preparation. “Oh, a lovely choice.”

“Yes, it is. I thought it would make a wonderful impression for this afternoon’s luncheon. In the evening, you can wear your scarlet dress. You’ll be breathtaking.”

“Thank you, Alba. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“No thanks is necessary. I’m doing what your mama asked me to do.” Alba smiled. Arianna watched Alba in the mirror as she fussed with her hair, arranging it on top of her head.

“My hair looks wonderful.” Arianna appraised Alba’s handiwork.

“You should think more of things like hairstyles, dresses, and shopping. It’s what wealthy young women are supposed to do. You spend too much time thinking about other people. This event is important. Your papa and Signor Allegretti are depending on it to impress their new associates. Your papa is counting on you to charm them as you always do.” Alba set the carved jewelry box on the dressing table. “Perhaps you should pick some jewels out now so as not to risk taking all with you.”

“Perhaps.” Arianna frowned, her gaze locking on the older woman’s reflection in the mirror. “I feel particularly nervous about this garden party. For some reason I have this uneasiness…no, not really uneasy, I’m not sure what it is, but I’m worried.” Arianna placed her hand over her stomach. It pained her. “I feel something life changing is about to occur.”

“Hush now, Arianna.” Alba patted her arm. “Such talk makes people very nervous, including me. Change can be good.”

“I can’t help it, I feel something momentous will soon happen. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad. I need to be able to speak of things to someone, and the only one I can reveal myself to is you.” Arianna pouted.

“Put these thoughts from your mind and relax. You’re merely nervous about meeting the eligible gentlemen your father invited. I overheard your father say there will be several eligible, well-respected businessmen there. A widower and one who has never been wed are said to be present.”

“Father doesn’t know what an excellent catch is.” Arianna rolled her eyes. “He’s only looking at their wealth.”

“Of course he is, Arianna. It would do you well to understand the way of it. You’d never wed a pauper. You are meant for greater things. Hold still, your hair’s almost done,” Alba instructed.

Arianna handed Alba another pin. The words swirled in her head, a familiar mantra she’d long since gotten tired of.

“There, you’re absolutely exquisite. I want you to look wonderful as soon as you step off the carriage. We’ll refresh you once you’re there. But first impressions, you know.”

“I can’t believe you think wealth’s the only important thing. Not you, Alba. Love’s important. Don’t you think? Isn’t love with physical attraction most important? I know most girls don’t think of this. But I do.”

“I know you think differently in many things, but don’t speak of this to any other. Just remember, love doesn’t pay your bills or buy your lovely silks. Love doesn’t do much, and it may not last.” She motioned for Arianna to stand, then helped her into her dress.

“Papa and Mama loved each other, theirs lasted.”

“Yes, a rarity in itself. If you can tolerate him and he’s wealthy, you’ve the makings of a good husband. Love may come.” Alba stood back, inspected Arianna, and smiled. “You look gorgeous. Let’s get downstairs. The carriage is already parked out front.”

“There will be other females there to charm the gentlemen. They’re much better at being amusing. Sarah’s always so charming and delightful.”

“Yes, but these men are eligible suitors. You’re in need of a husband.”

“I don’t need a husband, at least not yet.”

“Hush, you speak silliness,” Alba scolded as only a beloved servant could do. “You’re a young woman, you need a husband.”

“The other girls need husbands too.”

“Don’t be foolish, you know as well as I, Rafaela’s engaged, Jenna’s being courted by a very appropriate suitor, and Sarah…well, she’s Sarah. You most certainly need a husband. You’re nineteen years old, and getting older every day.”

“You make me sound ancient.” Arianna giggled.

“Someone must take care of you. It won’t be your father forever, he grows older too.”

“Truly, I can take care of myself.”

* * * *

Clayne relaxed against the ornate couch, a drink in his hand. He appraised the home with a quick eye, the luxury of the human’s dwelling spartan compared to the spacious townhouse he’d recently purchased in the heart of Florence. The invitation to the Allegretti home was most advantageous. It allowed him to continue his search without breaking his cover of a rich merchant who recently relocated from Rome to enjoy the art and culture of Florence, the jewel of the Renaissance.

It amused him to interact with these uncomplicated people. Signor Antonio Mergliano had been insistent that Clayne accept the invitation to the garden party, assuring him an entertaining visit. For some reason, Clayne was compelled to accept, he liked the old man.

Clayne shifted. While fortuitous, the invite was a hindrance. He should be searching for a godforsaken female with the mark of the dragon. No doubt the Forsaken bitch was an ugly, cold-hearted, half-breed bloodsucker. His blood boiled at the very notion of a vampire’s offspring.

There’s no fucking way she’ll be my mate. Mother’s prediction is wrong.

Clayne stood up, stretching his legs. Taking a sip of his drink, it cooled his inner heat. He burned with annoyance at having to do the Goddess Amuliana Synvera’s bidding.

His hatred for anything remotely related to vampires ate at him. They were only good for killing, as far as he was concerned. As loyal as he was to his king, this quest made his temper burn. He’d much rather be back in Ejdeha Dragoni having his teeth pulled than searching for this abomination in human form.

Mother’s wrong. How could the fates be so cruel to me?

He sighed into his drink. It had been years since he’d spent so much time among mortals. Only his trips for his king drew him from his seclusion, and the grief still stung at the loss of his beloved sister.

Perhaps he’d find a simple-minded human female to dally with, relieve his frustrations. Dragon females could be so complicated and greedy of his time. Often, human girls pretended to be virtuous, yet he knew better, seeing through their facade immediately. Allegretti’s daughter was one such female, she smelled of many men. Perhaps she’d be willing and eager to sneak off to a secluded place where he could get lost for a bit between her thighs. The thought brought a smile to his face.

 

Ciara

About the Author

Welcome to Ciara Lake’s World. Meet Gorgeous Werewolves, Vampires, Dragons, Mermaids, Wizards, Witches, Mythological Gods and Goddesses, Mere Mortals And More! Fiction has always been a passion of mine. Creating worlds and developing characters is a great way for me to relieve the stress and strain of my everyday world. In fantasy (paranormal) and sci-fi stories, the author has the unique ability to invent wonderfully exotic places and people. I do that in my books. These fantastic genres provide a limitless ability to be creative and inventive. My stories provide an escape into a special world filled with unique and otherworldly things. And there is always a happy ending.

Website * Twitter * Goodreads

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The Decline of Memphis

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Earlier this week, I wrote about how the city of Memphis has been working to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest from a city park (previously known as Forrest park until the city council changed the name a few years back). Last night, after the council voted, the statue was removed. Another statue of Jefferson Davis was also removed. I am heartsick that this has happened. The city council also wants to remove the remains of General Forrest and his wife, which are buried under the statue’s base. It is repulsive and deeply offensive that they would show such a blatant disrespect to the general’s descendants.

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Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans issued a statement saying they would fight the actions taken by the Memphis city council and would go through litigation to reverse the removal of the statues. Memphis seems to think that they could remove the statues because they sold the two parks where the statues were located for a mere $1000 each, and now that the parks are now privately owned, the new owners can remove the statues. However, this goes against Tennessee law that all historical monuments, names, etc. should remain intact.

Memphis has previously lost every court case, hearing and appeal to remove the statues. So they contrived a back door way of removing the statues and snuck around in the dark to remove them. I find this appalling and disgusting, not to mention illegal. But after living outside of Memphis for years, I totally get it. When we first moved there from Colorado, I was shocked about the mafia-like politics that take place there. It seemed so 1930’s to me, and yet, they frequently got away with all kinds of crimes. Now they have taken the law into their own hands and gone against it for their own behalf. But what does it really accomplish?

When I told a friend last night that Memphis was taking down the statues, she responded by saying, “Are they really still doing that?” I knew what she meant. Is the south still destoying its history? Wasting money that would be better spent elsewhere? I’m glad I live in Colorado now and don’t have to see this desecration. I only hope Memphis learns its lesson the hard way.

Despite Popular Sentiment, Assault on Southern Heritage Marches On

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It seems this nonsense will just not cease. Dallas has backed off on the removal of its Confederate monuments. But now Atlanta has taken up the torch to desecrate Civil War memorials. I still think this is unfathonable, disrespectful, and yes, ridiculous. To waste money on removing these relics seems like misdirected angst to me. Anyway, here is an article about what Atlanta intends to do. Let me know what  you think.

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ATLANTA COMMITTEE HITTING GAS PEDAL ON MONUMENT REMOVAL

A committee named by Atlanta’s mayor to weigh the future of the city’s Confederate monuments and Confederate-named streets recently held its second meeting.

The 11-member committee was appointed by Mayor Kasim Reed in October to review street names and identify city-owned monuments and evaluate how each would be handled. Reed first formed the committee in August.

The committee met for the first time Oct. 19 to plan and map out logistics. They identified seven monuments and 13 street names on its preliminary list.
Monuments:

Peachtree Battle Avenue Monument
James Calhoun portrait
Confederate Obelisk
Sidney Lanier Bust
Peace Monument
Lion of the Confederacy
Monument to General Walker

Streets:

Cleburne Avenue
Cleburne Terrace
Confederate Avenue
East Confederate Avenue
Forrest Street
Gordon Place
Hardee Street
Holtzclaw Street
Lee Street
Pickett Street/Alley
Walker Street
Walthall Street
Walthall Drive
Walthall Court

While the first meeting was closed to the public, the committee’s second meeting included a public comment portion.

Channel 11’s Chris Hopper was at the meeting where about a dozen people offered their input to the committee.

There’ll be one more opportunity for public input during the next meeting on Nov. 8. The city also plans to launch a website later this week, and there’s an email address where people can send their thoughts.

After that, the committee will draft a preliminary report and discuss it on Nov. 13. They’ll then amend it and potentially approve it. Mayor Reed said he expects a full report from the committee on his desk by Nov. 20.

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, November 3, 2017 ed.)

The South is Coming Unhinged

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I wanted to share a letter I recently read. It’s crazy how an irrational wave of political correctness has taken over the South. Here is the letter. Please share what you think.

Cultural Marxism

Cultural Marxism has gone too far. Not only in regards to Confederate statues & monuments but, even those to the Founding Fathers, Christopher Columbus & now the Cherokee Chief Stand Watie in Oklahoma City, Ok.

This city is changing the names of three schools named for Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Stand Watie. All three men were Confederate generals during the War Between The States is the reason for these name changes. Never once have those practicing political correctness mentioned that those who served in the Confederacy did many good things before & after the war that merit statues & memorials to those deeds alone.
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Stand Watie was a Chief of the Cherokee tribe & fought for the Confederacy because he thought he could get a better deal & treatment for his people than they had received under the government of the United States, as did other tribes. Because he served in the Confederate army for 4 years the Oklahoma City school board over looks his other accomplishments & no longer wants one of their schools named for him.

As long as this school has been named for Stand Watie did the school board wake up one day & decide that because he had been a Confederate general that he was not worthy of remembering as a Chief of the Cherokee tribe or do they just hate Native Americans too?
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The same holds true for many others who had served in the Confederacy. Are they not worth remembering for all their other worthy contributions to the United States? This cultural cleansing of historical American figures needs to stop & all their contributions remembered be they perceived as good or bad. Removing any statue or monument of America’s historical icons leads this country a step closer to an identity crisis & national suicide.

The ultimate goal of groups like Antifa is to replace all of America’s history & form of government & to erect statues & monuments of their preferred hero` Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, etc.

Billy E. Price
Ashville Alabama
cscitizen@windstream.net

OKCPS votes to change names of three schools named after Confederate generals
http://okcfox.com/news/local/okcps-votes-to-change-names-of-three-schools-named-after-confederate-generals

Happy Halloween!

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. In the spirit of all things spooky, sereal, and spectral, here are a couple of excerpts from my books. The first two are from A Beckoning Hellfire, due for re-realease this November. The third is from its sequel, A Rebel Among Us. Don’t let the frights terrify you tonight!

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(Excerpt from A Beckoning Hellfire)

Jake leaned in toward his friend. “You should ask him about your pa,” he reminded.

The other soldiers looked at David, waiting for him to speak. He took a deep sigh, and said, “My pa is buried here somewhere, and I was wonderin’ if y’all might know where I could find him.”

The Georgians exchanged glances.

“Can’t rightly direct you,” Michael said. “The burial site’s mighty large, and not every grave is marked. It could take days, or even weeks, and you still might not find him.”

David bit his lower lip and gazed into the fire, disappointed with the answer he’d received.

Jake quickly changed the subject and they were soon engaged in telling one chilling horror story after another, most of which the other soldiers made up. David enthralled them with “The Tell Tale Heart,” a story by Edgar Allen Poe, which none of the others had heard before. To his amusement, the others actually shivered at his telling of the story. The four soldiers talked on into the night until they realized it was late and decided to retire. As the Georgians departed, Jake leaned back, mumbling something unintelligible. David fell asleep but was soon startled awake by the bugler’s invasion.

(Also from A Beckoning Hellfire)

Cold Harbor

David shivered. Deciding to move around for warm, he slid from the saddle, but stumbled in the dark. He noticed a round, white rock, so he knelt down and picked it up. Oddly, it was much lighter than a rock. He turned it in his hands. Empty eye sockets bore into him, and the bony teeth grinned at him from death. Impulsively, he screamed, and tossed the human skull away in a panic, which sent it flying over the field. Horrified, he suddenly became aware his surroundings.

Long white bones stuck out from mounds of dirt that at one point must have served as makeshift graves. Weathered woolen uniforms and knapsacks, still intact, clung to the skeletal remains. Cannonballs sat scattered about, an eerie reminder of what had happened here.

Realizing that he was in a terrible graveyard, he shuddered. For some reason, the Yankee whose head he’d lopped off popped into his head. He glanced around, expecting the headless soldier to ride out of the darkness and attack him. An owl hooted. David nearly jumped out of his skin. Anxious to depart the frightening scene, he hurried back to Renegade, mounted, and prompted his colt to trot.

For the rest of the night, David walked Renegade along the side of a road, and carefully avoided the horrible scene of death. He had no need for coffee. His fright kept him wide awake.

When he returned to camp the next morning, he told Custis what he’d seen, and how he had held a dead man’s skull in his hand, just like a scene from Hamlet.

“Oh, that must be what’s left of those poor fellers who fought over yonder last year. We’re right close to Manassas. You didn’t know that, did you, Summers?”

Wide-eyed, David shook his head.

Custis giggled. “Reckon you got a good scare, then!” He guffawed.

(From A Rebel Among Us)

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On October 31, Patrick arrived with a bottle of whiskey and invited David to partake with him. They stood shivering at the back door, passing the bottle between them.

“‘Tis Samhain tonight, lad. All Hallow’s Eve. Were ye aware of it?”

David nodded. “Where’d you git this whiskey?” he asked.

“Aye, ‘tis a grand thing the Meyers provide me with allowance for such an indulgence,” he replied. He pulled a pipe from his coat pocket and lit it. Puffing away, he shook his head and remarked, “Sure’n ‘tis a far cry from real tobacco.”

A thought crossed David’s mind. “I’ll be right back,” he said.

He went upstairs to his room, grabbed the pouch of tobacco, and brought it back down to his friend.

Patrick peeked inside before taking a deep whiff. “Ah!” he sighed, relishing the pungent aroma. “Might this be the Southern tobacco I’ve heard tell about?”

David grinned. “Jake brought it along for tradin’, and this here’s what’s left.”

Patrick loaded his pipe, relit it, and puffed euphorically, smiling all the while. “‘Tis a wee bit o’ heaven, indeed.” He glanced at his friend. “Now, have ye any scary tales from the Southland that might have me skin crawlin’?”

David thought for a moment, “There’s a story from north Alabama about a place called the Red Bank.”

Raising his eyebrows, Patrick said, “Let’s see if ye might be tellin’ it frightfully enough to send a shiver up me spine.” He happily puffed away.

David grinned. He lowered his voice so it was a threatening grumble and delved into his story. Once he had completed the tale of an Indian maiden who had killed herself after losing her baby and had promptly turned into a ghost, he paused.

Patrick puffed silently on his pipe. “Well, now, I have a scarier one.” He puffed again, took a swig from the whiskey bottle, handed it to David, and said, “‘Tis an old tale from the motherland.”

The wind blew past them, whistling off through the barren fields. Both young men shivered, suddenly aware of the ominous darkness surrounding them.

David forced a nervous laugh before taking a swallow. “All right, Patrick. Let’s hear it.”

He took a puff and slowly exhaled. “There once lived a wealthy lady who was courted by two lords. One of the lords grew so jealous of the other that he plotted to kill his rival. So one night, he snuck into the unsuspectin’ lad’s bedchamber. But instead of choppin’ off his head—”

He said this with so much exuberance David jumped.

“He accidentally chopped off his legs instead.”

A dog howled in the distance, adding to the nuance of Patrick’s eerie Irish story.

“His torso received a proper burial, but his legs were tossed into a hole in the castle garden and covered with dirt. The murderin’ lord deceived the lady by tellin’ her the other suitor had abandoned his proposal to her. She agreed to marriage. But on their weddin’ night, in walked the two bodyless legs.”

An owl hooted from somewhere off in the empty trees.

“The legs followed the bridegroom relentlessly until the day he died. It’s said the legs can still be seen walkin’ round by themselves. ‘Tis a true phuca.” Upon this conclusion, Patrick puffed on the pipe. Smoke billowed around his head like an apparition.

“What’s a phuca?” asked David.

“A ghost,” Patrick responded.

Raising a skeptical eyebrow, David snorted. “I reckon that’s the dumbest spook story I ever did hear.”

A gate near the barn caught in the wind and slammed loudly against the fencepost. The two men jumped. They chuckled at their reaction, but immediately felt the terrible chill. Reasoning they would be more comfortable inside, they entered the kitchen, consumed the remainder of the whiskey, and bid each other goodnight. Patrick returned home, and David retired quietly upstairs, careful not to wake the others. Relieved the fireplace had been lit for him, he undressed.

Climbing into bed, he snickered at the thought of two legs unattached to a body, chasing after a rival. Once he’d fallen asleep, however, the thought invaded his dreams. The legs ran toward him. Right behind them rode the headless Union horseman. The torso raised its saber and swung it where its head should have been. Just as the blade came down, David jolted awake. He gasped to catch his breath, realizing, once again, his imagination had gotten the best of him. Slowly, he lay back. Unable to sleep, he listened to the wind rattle the shutters and shake through the skeleton-like tree limbs from outside the frosty, lace-covered windows.

Wonders Never Cease

The debacle over removing four Confederate monuments in New Orleans hasn’t been enough ridiculousness lately. It seems some groups just can’t have enough political correctness or they will never be happy. Not only are several other areas sporting the idea of removing their monuments (Florida, Maryland), but street names and other landmarks are also under attack. Personally, I find it all disgusting and disrespectful, not to mention idiotic, and a true indicator of certain groups being misinformed and uneducated.

Now a student petition is circulating Louisiana State University to change the “Tigers” mascot. The petition claims that the mascot is “the most prevalent Confederate symbol in the United States.” How stupid is this!

The petition also states that the mascot was chosen during the Civil War by “powerful white males” as an homage to the Confederate “Louisiana Tigers” regiment. Huh? According to the petition, the regiments’ members “were known for their propensity for violence on and off the battlefield.” Um, excuse me, but there was a war going on, after all.

Another reason the petition is trying to replace the mascot is because “It’s also cruel to cage a wild animal for the amusement of privileged white people…It is incredibly insulting for any African American to have to attend a school that honors Confederate militantism. It is already hard enough to be black at LSU, and these symbols must be changed.” Where to begin with this paragraph? Somebody is way too sensitive for their own good. I’m confused about the reference to a wild animal being caged for the amusement of privileged white people. What wild animal? Is the petition referring to the cute tiger cartoon on the logo? By the way, that sentence screams racism all over it! Here’s a news flash: there were black soldiers in the Confederate army! And why is it so hard to be a black student at LSU, anyway? This petition sounds a bit whiny to me.

Louisiana Fighting Tigers

The petition concludes with a quote by Dr. Charles Coates, who was an LSU administrator from 1893-1939. He explained how the Tigers mascot originated in a 1937 alumni newsletter. LSU began its college football program in 1895. According to Dr. Coates, the team name was chosen because of Louisiana’s heritage, and he found it appropriate because the Louisiana Fighting Tigers were known for “getting into the hardest part of the fighting and staying there, most of them permanently.”

Because of this explanation, the petition claims the tiger is a “symbol of white oppression” that must be eradicated. I don’t know how the petition’s author got that from Dr Coate’s opinion. White oppression? Seriously? Sounds more like football to me. The petition proclaims, “We must speak truth to power, and continue to march toward justice. That day is coming, the day when every symbol of white oppression is torn down.” Okay, wow. Just wow. Not only do they have their facts twisted, but apparently, their panties are twisted in a wad as well. This isn’t the day of Malcolm X, for crying out loud! No one is being oppressed because the LSU logo has a tiger on it! This is certainly some sort of crazy.
Stay tuned for more bizarre, historically inaccurate accusations coming from your favorite places in the South! (Thank goodness Alabama has some sense.)

Author Spotlight by Yours Truly

My novel, A Rebel Among Us, was featured yesterday on Renee’s Author Spotlight. Here is the post.

A Rebel Among Us by J.D.R. Hawkins

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of only a few female Civil War authors, and uniquely describes the front lines from a Confederate perspective.

Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner, and A Rebel Among Us, which has just been published. These books tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war.

Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, Pikes Peak Writers, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. She is currently working on a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as another sequel for the Renegade Series. Learn more about her at http://jdrhawkins.com.

Connect with the Author

About the Book

After David Summers enlists with the Confederate cavalry, his delusion of chivalry is soon crushed when he witnesses the horrors of battle. Shot by a Union picket, he winds up at a stranger’s farm. Four girls compassionately nurse him back to health. David learns his comrades have deserted him in Pennsylvania following the Battle of Gettysburg, but his dilemma becomes much worse. He falls in love with the older sister, Anna, who entices him with a proposition. To his dismay, he must make a decision. Should he stay and help Anna with her underhanded plan, or return to the army and risk capture?

Get it today on Amazon and Smashwords!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:
When did you start writing?

I began writing when I was very young, and started out with songs and poems. From there, I advanced to children’s picture books (I did my own artwork) and novels. I developed an interest in the Civil War when I took a trip to Gettysburg. That trip made a profound impression on me and gave me the inspiration to write the Renegade Series.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

Finding time to write. It’s difficult because my latest novel, A Rebel Among Us, just came out, so I’m spending a lot of time promoting it.

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

My family supports me 100 percent. My oldest son has read all my manuscripts and edited them, my mom has read my books and helped me research them, and my husband has accompanied me to many book signings and events.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as an author?

That my books are very well written.

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?

I had one guy give me grief at a book signing because I didn’t know that much about the Navy during the Civil War. I tried to explain that I hadn’t researched that part of it because the Navy isn’t in any of my stories, but he got mad anyway and huffed off. All I could do was shrug.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t take criticism personally.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?

I am also a singer/songwriter, so I enjoy playing and performing. I also like to travel and spend time in the mountains.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have five books with you, what would they be?

The Bible, Gone With the Wind, and my three books so I could continue writing the series and not forget any details!

How many books do you have on your “to read” list? What are some of them?

The Girl on the Train, Harry Potter books (I haven’t read any), and a book a friend asked me to read for a review, titled Henry’s Pride.

What is your writing process?

Each book takes me, on average, six months to research and six months to write. I like to listen to Civil War music when I write, because it helps put me in that time period.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?

I combine both. In A Rebel Among Us, there is a scene where the main character, David Summers, cups his hands and whistles to make it sound like a mourning dove. My dad taught me how to do that when I was a little girl.

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

Yes. I based the main character, David Summers, and his best friend, Jake, on my son and his best friend. I also combine characters with real people in my life, and take certain aspects of people’s personalities to create a character.

Have you ever gotten an idea for a story from something really bizarre? Tell us about it.

In A Rebel Among Us, the main character, David Summers, looks up at the night sky and watches the clouds morph into what he perceives to be the devil. This actually happened to me one night.

What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?

Describing the prison camp scenes. These were all taken from actual accounts and journals the prisoners wrote. To understand that these terrible atrocities really happened is heartbreaking.

Do you have anything specific you’d like to say to your readers?

I chose to write about the Civil War because this era is so fascinating to me. The country was mixed up on its views. It wasn’t just black and white, or north and south. I hope that, by reading my novels, my readers will learn something about the war they didn’t know before, and hopefully feel compassion for the characters.

Charlottesville Votes to Disregard Its History

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Yesterday was a sad day for Charlottesville. In a 3-2 vote, the city council decided to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Lee Park. I, for one, find this to be an atrocity. What is removing a long-standing statue of an American hero supposed to accomplish? Who, exactly, is offended by a statue of Robert E. Lee? I don’t hear anyone speaking up specifically, and yet, we keep hearing about how “certain people” are offended. Who, pray tell?

During the vote yesterday, several people in attendance, both black and white, were asked if they found the statue to be offensive. All said they were not. Again, who exactly is offended by old statues of Confederate soldiers? (Not counting the politicians who came up with this idea in the first place and pushed the issue through.) The statue was erected in 1924, so it has stood in the park for nearly 93 years. And now, all of a sudden, some people think some other people are offended. Really? Give me a break!

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Lawsuits will undoubtedly follow, and I hope, for the sake of historical preservation, the statue remains in the park. It would cost the city taxpayers an incredible amount of money to move the statue, and for what? This is another shameful example of political correctness gone awry.

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/article_e41c6141-f6ae-5309-92d2-a4457d7b5fe4.html

http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2017/01/councilman-fenwick-to-cast-tie-breaking-vote-to-remove-robert-e-lee-statue

http://www.charlottesville.org/departments-and-services/departments-h-z/parks-recreation-/parks-trails/city-parks/lee-park

Honoring a Great Man

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(Portrait by Theodore Pine, 1904)

Confederate General Robert E. Lee was born on this date in 1807. Lee is one of my favorite characters of the Civil War, and is featured in many of my books. He was so loyal to his homeland that he gave up his commission with the U.S. Army to support Virginia when the Commonwealth seceded from the Union in 1861. This could not have been an easy decision for him. He was career military, and he was President Lincoln’s first choice to lead the Union Army. But because the country was split, Lee went with his heart and declined Lincoln’s offer.

The war wasn’t kind to General Lee. He lost many relatives during the war, and told President Jefferson Davis several times that he did not want to lead the Confederate Army. Inevitably, the South lost, but Lee accepted defeat with grace and humility. He was offered the presidency at Washington College in Lexington, which he accepted. Only five years later, he died of pneumonia, presumably brought on by heart failure.

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Robert E. Lee was a true patriot and a devout family man. He held his religious beliefs above all else. His stamina and integrity are admirable, and his leadership ability carried his soldiers through many battles. His men idolized him with love and adoration, and compared him to King Arthur. Lee was one of the greatest generals in American history.

That’s why it is such a shame that the country he fought and suffered so much for has turned against his memory. New Orleans is still debating whether to destroy the statue erected in his honor in that city. This is recurring all over the South. It is disgraceful that such a great man is depicted now in such a dishonorable light. Lee never fought to defend slavery: in fact, he set his slaves free well before the war took place. He did not believe in the institution. He fought under the Stars and Bars to preserve Southern rights and freedom, and as a declaration that his soldiers would fight to save their homes. Lee’s home, Arlington, was taken away from him during the war, but he never wavered in his faith of God and country. It is disgusting how the Stars and Bars for which he fought have been removed from his Chapel and burial place. Shame on you, Virginia, for allowing it to happen.

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(General Lee on his horse, Traveller, 1866)

Would that his enemies squirmed in their shame…but alas they have none.

“The commanding general considers that no greater disgrace could befall the army than the perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the unarmed and defenseless, and the wanton destruction of private property that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country.”

“It must be remembered that we make war only upon armed men and that we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemies…and offending against Him to whom vengeance belongeth.”

Robert E. Lee

 

Books by Simi K. Rao on Tour

Inconvenient Relations (Inconvenient Relations #1) by Simi K. Rao

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Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.

This multi-cultural contemporary romance story of an arranged marriage is a beautiful blending of showing the Indian and American cultures. Readers will learn more about the Indian heritage and the romance that happens behind closed doors in an Indian relationship in Simi K. Rao’s Inconvenient Relations. This coming of age story about true love explores multi-cultural issues.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24355815-inconvenient-relations

http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/1505694582/

Reviews for Inconvenient Relations:

As a whole this was a brilliant novel. Rao walks the line between traditional Indian culture and all that is Hollywood to create a tale that will pull at your heartstrings and keep you captivated throughout. ~ Jonel Boyko

It was a beautifully timed love story and I enjoyed it. I also loved the way the author interspersed the language throughout the story. It made me feel connected to the culture. ~ Jazmen This Girl Reads A lot

This book is a complete package of love, hate, distrust, betrayal and every other emotions that we feel. ~ Souwmiya

Now and Forever (Inconvenient Relations #2) by Simi K. Rao

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Can Shaan and Ruhi face their biggest fears and unite together?

Shaan and Ruhi Ahuja, very much in love Indian newlyweds, discover each other in Simi K. Rao’s Now and Forever—the sassy and sexy sequel to Inconvenient Relations. After getting the scare of their lives while traveling in the Grand Canyon, Shaan and Ruhi go back home to one dilemma after another. Shaan’s job is in jeopardy, and one of Ruhi’s closest friends, Sunshine, needs her. How will Shaan and Ruhi handle life’s hurdles, while still trying to get to know each other as husband and wife? Will they be able to forsake all others and consolidate their relationship?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32543951-now-and-forever

http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/1539394476/

About the Author

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Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. The inspiration for her books, and other projects, comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances. 

Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life.

Much of Rao’s down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world.

A practicing physician, Rao lives in the United States with her family.

http://simikrao.com/

https://www.facebook.com/simikrao

https://twitter.com/simikrao

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7169786.Simi_K_Rao

Trivia, Random Facts

Who says science and art cannot coexist. They can and Simi K Rao is a living example. She is a practicing physician who is also an author. Writing fiction fulfills her creative urge while her profession keep the home fires burning. She has managed to pen four books so far– Inconvenient Relations, The Accidental Wife, Milan (A Wedding Story) and her latest Now and Forever– the sequel to Inconvenient Relations. Except Milan all are works of contemporary romance written from the Indian American perspective. In the future, she hopes to take on more challenging projects. She lives in Denver, USA with her family.

Random facts about Simi in her own words

  1. I have a dual personality. I exist in two worlds at the same time. It can get quite confusing.
  2. Writing is a stress buster for me. I write for myself rather than anyone else.
  3. My heroines can be pig headed, rash and violent. I think they learn their traits from me.
  4. My stories are occasionally clichéd just like life is sometimes- banal and boring.
  5. My books are not just for women. Men should read them too. They can get a few pointers on what women want.
  6. I believe cuss words are a means of expression. Used appropriately they can be very effective.
  7. I also believe that at any time there are two conversations going on. The nonverbal one happens to be more interesting.
  8. I credit my Dad for my fondness of the written word. By giving me books instead of toys he gave me the best gift ever.
  9. Writing helps me stay lucid while reading blurs my cynicism—two traits vital for day to day life.
  10. Be warned; I’m one of the least interesting people you’ve met. So move on and forget about me. Just read my books.

Other Books by the Author

25158346  26212981

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25158346-the-accidental-wife https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26212981-milan

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Giveaway:

1)  A $10 Amazon gift card

2) A kindle copy each of Inconvenient relations and Now and Forever. 

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