J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “New Year”

Happy New Year!

While going through some old papers today, I came across this interesting article. I hope you enjoy it! (I had to post the original article because I jammed my finger last night and am having a hard time typing!)

(Article courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Pvt. Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452, SCV, & Pres. Jefferson Davis Chapter, MOSB, volume 35, issue no. 5, May 2011 ed.)

Happy New Year!


Now that the holidays are over, it’s time for me to take a deep breath, delve in, and get back to work! I was crazy busy up until Christmas, what with all the blog posts, tours, contests, and giveaways I was participating in. Now that I’ve completed all of those projects, I am beginning several new ones. My nonfiction book is in the works and should be coming out later this year. I also plan to re-publish the first two books in the Renegade Series with the publisher of my new novel, A Rebel Among Us.


And, I plan to publish the fourth book in the Renegade Series this year as well. What a workload! Of course, there will be many more exciting opportunities to win great prizes and have fun, so stay tuned. Thanks again for your support!




Recovery Time


Although Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, I’ll have to admit, it can be exhausting! I feel like I’m fighting off a cold or some other unknown disease after being around a bunch of sickies for the past few weeks, and all the calories I ingested are catching up. The decorations have all been taken down, leaving a void where they used to be for over a month. The gifts have all been opened, some returned, and others re-gifted: not from me but to me. Argh!

Now that the New Year is upon us, the snow and cold seem unrelenting and endless. Next week it will be a high of three degrees here. Three degrees! Argh! I feel like I need another vacation to come off of this vacation. I hear the Bahamas are nice this time of year. If only… sigh.


One thing I did manage to complete was the line edits for my latest novel. Because of the holidays, it took me longer than I anticipated, but now the task is accomplished and I’m looking forward to the next phase in the publishing process. This book is the third in a series I’ve written, titled the Renegade Series, which makes the story a trilogy so far. I’ll write more about this in my next blog post.


Getting back on track can be difficult. I’m sure I can do it, but some people have trouble. They experience profound depression this time of year, so please reach out to those who might need your help. A New Year means new opportunities. I’m excited about what the future holds!




For many people, it is tradition to come up with a New Year’s resolution or two every year. Mine includes the usual: lose weight, quit vices, and be nicer (even though I try to be nice already). Next year promises to hold many adventures in store. I will have a new book coming out, we will hopefully buy a house, and I plan on taking more trips, possibly even abroad. These are also resolutions that I intend to keep.


Making a resolution means making a firm decision to do or not to do something. Another definition of “resolution,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.: the act of resolving something.: an answer or solution to something.” I hope that this New Year provides resolutions to conflicts and problems as well, such as terrorism, dependency on foreign oil, racial tensions, and political tyranny. May this New Year provide peace throughout the world, fairness, honesty, and a common understanding amongst all people. In other words, I hope to see “the peaceful resolution of all disputes.”


I have been writing a lot about the situation with the Confederate battle flag. It weighs heavily on my heart that the flag has been misconceived as something evil. When it was first designed, it was modeled after a Christian symbol, specifically Scotland’s St. Andrews Cross. How a cross can become racist is beyond me. I hope that those who suddenly consider Confederate statues to be a “nuisance” and the St. Andrews Cross to be racist will change their biased way of thinking.

Happy New Year 2016 Quotes

In the spirit of new beginnings, I wish you a very happy New Year full of love, laughter, adventure, hope, and joy. May the New Year hold many pleasant surprises for you, and offer us all an opportunity for creative, constructive communication and compassion. Happy New Year!

The Hunt for the Irish Connection


Writing has helped me make some fascinating discoveries over the years. Because I write historical fiction, I have learned to extensively research my topics before delving into a manuscript. Finding little known facts has given me an interest in researching various subjects. My passion lies with the Victorian Era, but I also love writing about the Roaring 20’s and Prohibition, as well as other aspects of American history like the 1960’s and 70’s.



Through my research, I have uncovered some interesting things. For instance, I apparently have distant relatives living in Alabama that I never knew about. This tidbit would never have come to my attention if I hadn’t been doing research for one of my novels. I also discovered some of my husband’s long lost relatives who lived in Virginia near Chancellorsville. This came to my attention after conducting research for my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire.


Now I am on the hunt for my Irish roots. After moving to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, two years ago, I learned that my great grandfather lived here once he divorced my great grandmother. I looked through old city and county records, and found out his exact date of birth, death, and the name of his daughter, who would have been my great step aunt. I even learned why his body was sent to Tucson, Arizona. After more research, I learned the names of his siblings and his parents. Now I just have to find out where in Tipperary, Ireland, they came from and which port of entry they came through. I’m hoping that the New Year will provide me with unanswered questions and help me find my Irish connection.

Happy New Year!

I would like to wish everyone a very happy New Year! This past year has been a wild ride full of fun and hard work. I met so many great people at book signings and events, and I hope I get more chances to see you again this year. Going to Gettysburg for the 150th anniversary was a real thrill for me. I’m always inspired when I attend reenactments and meet other people who are as enthusiastic about the War Between the States as I am.

I have a new book coming out this year about Confederate War Horses, which I am very excited about and I think you will enjoy. I also plan to travel around the South this year to help promote my book. And the third installment of my Civil War “Renegade Series” is on its way!

If you haven’t already, you still have time to enter my contest to win two free books! Just like my website and follow my blog. That’s all there is to it! Thank you for your ongoing support, and please feel free to leave comments. I really enjoy reading what you have to say! Have a blessed New Year and stay tuned. The winner will be announced later this week.

Happy Holidays!

Here’s wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! I have high hopes that next year will provide us all with many more opportunities. This year has been amazing for me, as we moved twice and still have our house in Mississippi (we’re in Sioux Falls now after being in Loveland, Colorado all summer). Christmas is a time to reflect, rejoice, and renew. I hope you and yours have a very blessed holiday season.

A New Year Brings New Promise

During the course of the Civil War, many soldiers had to endure harsh winters far from home. It was especially trying for southern soldiers who weren’t accustomed to deep snow and frigid temperatures. Many were in tatters and had no shoes, so they wrapped rags around their feet to stay warm.

Four winters brought further hardships for soldiers on both sides, as well as civilians in the South, who increasingly suffered due to economic instability. By 1864, a barrel of flour in Mobile, Alabama soared to over $300, and coffee, a luxury to southerners by this time, cost between $30 and $70 a pound.

Nevertheless, soldiers on both sides held strong convictions about fighting for the causes they believed in. An example of this is expressed in the following letter, written by Sullivan Balou to his wife on July 14, 1861:

“… If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of their Revolution. And I am willing – perfectly willing – to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this government, and to pay that debt …

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