J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “novels”

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…

Another Wonderful Review for A Rebel Among Us

I just received another great review for my novel, A Rebel Among Us. This is the third book in the Renegade Series. Thank you so much, Pacific Book Review, for your wonderful review!

A Rebel Among Us
Title: A Rebel Among Us
Author: J.D.R. Hawkins
Publisher: Westwood Books Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-64803-079-6
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 485
Reviewed by: Arthur Thares


Sometimes a book comes along and catches you completely off guard. A Rebel Among Us seems, on the surface, like a run-of-the-mill period romance novel, but it is so much more. By the time you finish this book, you will have a vested interest in it and its characters.


When Confederate soldier, David Summers, shows up on the Brady Farm wounded and weak, there is no way he can imagine how much his life will change. Anna and her sisters nurse David back to health, but with the Civil War raging, they know trouble is right around the corner if anyone ever finds out they are harboring a traitor. While their intentions seem generous initially, the Brady girls have a secret that spurred their kindness and generosity toward their enemy.


What starts as a relationship of convenience grows and changes, and Anna and David fall in love. As their forbidden love grows, the couple faces trial after trial until a scorned would-be lover threatens to tear the two apart forever. While the two face the most challenging times of their young lives, they learn a lot about themselves, but their happily-ever-after may not be meant to be.


Hawkins is an extraordinarily talented writer born for this work. The character building in this book is second to none. By the end of the story, you will find yourself rooting out loud for characters in a book. One of the many aspects which makes this book so appealing is, while it is a work of fiction, there is a certain realism to it, thanks to her knowledge of the civil war era.


A Rebel Among Us is a captivating story that will capture your imagination and your heart. The attention to detail in this story will subtly draw you in and not let you go until you’ve read the last word. This is far from the traditional romance story, as Hawkins trades in cheesy romance scenes for a relatable story with actual substance. Although this story takes place almost two hundred years ago, it will still resonate with readers today. A Rebel Among Us is easily a must-read title that will entertain, tug at the heartstrings, and ultimately leave the reader satisfied.

Another Five-Star Review for Double-Edged Sword

I just received another five-star review for my new novel, Double-Edged Sword. This book is the fourth one in the Renegade Series. Thank you so much, Celeste, for your review!

Celeste S

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel

Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2022

In this absorbing novel, Double-Edge Sword, the author J.D.R. Hawkins has fictionalised and captured in a riveting way the main character’s journey through the turbulent waters of the Civil War in the USA and his return to his home in Alabama.


The story follows David who has survived the war and comes back home only to start struggling with the trauma of his past and enemies that are waiting to make his life really difficult.


This fascinating, powerful and thought-provoking story is very well written. The author has described with great mastery the challenges the main character has to face in order to get a normal life back after the terrible events of the war. This book is truthful and realistic in reflecting all those complex feelings and emotions. I strongly recommend it.

New Book Trailer

Here is the book trailer for my new novel, Double-Edged Sword. This book is the fourth one in the Renegade Series, and describes what a family goes through during Reconstruction following the Civil War. I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know what you think.

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!

Latest Happenings

Recently, three of my books were featured via my publisher, Westwood Books Publishing, at the London Book Fair. I wish I would have had the chance to attend! It was an amazing turnout, and a great opportunity for people across the pond to see my books.

In other news…

My new novel, Double-Edged Sword, is being featured on BookGoodies. Here is the link:

http://bookgoodies.com/?p=423787

For a limited time, this book is available for free on Kindle Unlimited.

(Click on book cover to see link.)

My Books Featured at L.A. Times Festival of Books

My books are displayed second row on the left.

Recently, my novels were featured at the L.A. Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California. My publisher, Westwood Books Publishing, attended the event and set up a display galley, where all four of my books in the Renegade Series were featured.

My books on display.

More than 150,000 book lovers and media members attended the event. This was the 27th annual L.A. Times Festival of Books. It is one of the largest and most prestigious book festivals in the country. Since its debut in 1996, the festival has combined literature lovers with hundreds of booksellers, publishers, and literary organizations.

Because my books were featured at the event, I will now be able to get them placed in bookstores around the country. This was an excellent event and a great opportunity for me to get my books in front of a lot of people. Thanks to my publisher for including my books in this event!

Book Teaser #2 for New Novel

As promised, I’d like to share one book teaser each week over a four-week time span. Last week, I posted the first teaser for my new novel, Double-Edged Sword, which will be available in a few weeks. This book is the fourth one in the Renegade Series. Please let me know what you think! Does it spark your interest?

Double-Edged Sword describes the perilous desecration of the South following the Civil War, and how one newlywed couple navigates through the turmoil left behind, both in the South and in the North. Sure to be a bestseller, Double-Edged Sword discusses many controversial topics. It is edgy, profound, and alarming enough to pique anyone’s curiosity. Soon available on Amazon and all online booksellers.

New Book to Be Released Soon

I have a new novel coming out next month, which will be the fourth installment in the Renegade Series. This book has been in the making for quite some time, but it is finally ready for publication. If you are familiar with the other books in the series, it takes up where A Rebel Among Us leaves off. I will have a cover reveal in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’d like to share one book teaser each week for the next four weeks. Let me know what you think! Does it spark your interest?

Double-Edged Sword describes the perilous desecration of the South following the Civil War, and how one newlywed couple navigates through the turmoil left behind, both in the South and in the North. Sure to be a bestseller, Double-Edged Sword discusses many controversial topics. It is edgy, profound, and alarming enough to pique anyone’s curiosity. Soon available on Amazon and all online booksellers.

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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