J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Renegade Series”

Double-Edged Sword Receives New Review

I received another wonderful review from Hollywood Book Reviews for my new novel, Double-Edged Sword. This is the fourth book in the Renegade Series, and tells the story of a family from Alabama who experience the horrors of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Thank you, Manik Chaturmutha, for your review!


J.D.R. Hawkins’ historical fiction Double-Edged Sword: A Novel of Reconstruction delves into the American Civil War which has destroyed cities and livelihoods. Amidst the tense atmosphere of conflict, a family attempts to recover socially and emotionally. However, the post-war continues to affect the many relations within the family; also, the external forces threaten to complicate their relationships even more. The prologue introduces the novel’s background and is ominous about the tangled story that lies ahead.

David Summers is an ex-confederate soldier who fought against the government, the Yankees, for his state of Alabama in the war. Recently released from prison, he travels home with his newly-wedded and pregnant wife, Anna. When he meets his family after a long time, he hopes it will provide him with some much-needed respite from the trauma of war, but not quite. David’s mother is disappointed that he ran away to the north to fight, leaving his family behind. Moreover, he married Anna, a Yankee. As his familial relations get strained, so does his marriage. Anna is desperate to return to her home as she faces a gruelling pregnancy, making her resent David. Furthermore, a sort of love quadrangle between David, Anna and their former suitors/friends threatens to crack their marriage.

Anna’s close friend Stephen is envious of David for having married her. David’s friend, Callie, is heartbroken since she assumed they would be married. Callie’s friendship with David causes a rift in his marriage, prompting Anna to leave for home. However, when David joins Anna in the north, he has a violent falling out with Stephen. This lands him in jail and the midst of a precarious court case. Will David be able to prove himself and live a life with his family? This is what remains to be found out.

Hawkins’ world-building through her vivid, imagery-filled text is sublime and compelling. She evokes a sense of nostalgia for a world that had been built before the war, and regrets for the way it exists after. The narrative consists of many strands–the post-war recovery of David and his family, marriage troubles with his wife and suspense regarding his future when he is jailed. Likewise, enough space is provided to fully imbibe the impact of all the unfolding plot themes. The characters of David and Anna are well-fleshed out, and their relationship is honestly written. The dialogues have been reported in the typical Southern-American dialect, thus providing a remarkable genuineness. It is a fascinating read. Readers of historical fiction with a dash of war drama, romance and suspense will enjoy this book.

Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads is giving away 100 ebook copies of my new novel, Double-Edged Sword! This is the fourth book in the Renegade Series, and has already received several five-star reviews. The giveaway is going on now, and will run through August 3. Here is the link so that you can enter to win. Best of luck!

Double-Edged Sword Receives Another Five-Star Review

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

Grady HarpTop Contributor: Children’s Books

HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER

5.0 out of 5 stars The aftermath and scars of the Civil War

Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2022

Verified Purchase

Author/singer/songwriter JDR Hawkins writes novels and articles for newspapers, magazines, e-zines and blogs about the Civil War from the Confederate perspective. Her RENEGADE Series is rapidly winning multiple awards and there are four volumes – A REBEL AMONG US, A BEAUTIFUL GLITTERING LIE, A BECKONING HELLFIRE, and this volume DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD. These novels relate the story of a family from northern Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war.

Though a novel of the past, at this particular time in our history, when questions are being raised about the validity of statues and memorabilia of the Civil War, creating heated discussions and confrontations, this book offers a fresh view of the Civil War from the Southern, and Confederate, stance. Hawkins makes this revisit to the Confederate South lively with her eloquent prose as she opens this volume four: ‘ The constant ric-atata, ric-atata of the wheels rolling against the rails lulled him. Sweat beaded on his forehead, and he found it difficult to breathe in the warm, humid, almost unbearable air. The soft whispering breeze of his wife’s handheld fan gently whispered against his cheek. His mind eased. Voices seeped into his conscience, growing louder as they neared him. ‘Over here!” a man yelled. “Bring that torch!” A flame came into view. It quickly exploded into a fury of fire against the night sky. What appeared to be phantoms floated around burning buildings…’The scene established, the novel begins.

The plot is outlined as follows: ‘The Civil War has ended. Confederate cavalryman, David Summers, returns home to Alabama, taking his new wife, Anna, with him. Upon arrival, he understands how much the war has changed him and has scarred his homeland. Faced with challenges of transition, he learns how to navigate his new world, along with the pain and trauma of his past. He is also forced to confront his foes, including Stephen Montgomery. Their hatred for one another inevitably boils over into a fierce confrontation, whereby David is arrested. Will the jury believe his side of the story, even though he is an ex-Confederate? Or will he be hung for his crime?’

This is a timely novel that will hopefully add new dimensions of thinking about the Civil War and its persistent scars. Grady Harp, July 22

Five-Star Review for Double-Edged Sword from Readers’ Favorite

I received another five-star review for my new novel, Double-Edged Sword. This is the fourth book in the Renegade Series. Thank you so much, Readers’ Favorite, for the wonderful review!

Reviewed by: Romuald Dzemo

Review Rating: 5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review!


Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

Double-Edged Sword: A Novel of Reconstruction by J.D.R. Hawkins is a mesmerizing historical novel set against the backdrop of the years following the Civil War in Alabama. The protagonist is a Confederate cavalryman, David Summers, who returned home to Alabama after the war as a broken man. While his past and the horrors of the war still haunt him, he also has a broken land before him. As he struggles to fit into the new reality, he quickly understands that he still has many enemies to face. A confrontation between David and his long-time arch enemy, Stephen Montgomery, leads to David’s arrest. When he faces the jury, will he find favor with them or will they hang him?

J.D.R. Hawkins’ evocative writing and a strong sense of imagery are two elements in this narrative that help to paint a fascinating, credible picture of Alabama following the Civil War. The author shows readers compelling glimpses of the effects of the war, writing beautifully about the relationships and family dynamics. Characters like Kit are appealing and the author uses Kit to redefine friendship. I loved the beautifully crafted dialogue and Hawkins’ deft handling of conflict. Another character who will instantly gain the interest of readers is Anna, who accompanies David to Alabama. While they are in love, she is conflicted as she is from the north and her apprehension shines through the narrative. Double-Edged Sword is a brilliantly conceived novel that examines the challenges during the reconstruction period after the war. It is a formidable tour de force and a gem for fans of historical novels set around the time of the Civil War.

Double-Edged Sword Featured and New Giveaway

My new novel, Double-Edged Sword, was featured in this month’s Pikes Peak Writers newsletter. Here is what they had to say:

Sweet Success
~~ Celebrating the Success of our members ~~
Congratulations to J.D.R. Hawkins! Her newest novel, DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD, recently released from Westwood Books Publishing. This is the fourth book in her Renegade series, historical fiction centered around the American Civil War. Purchase a copy through Amazon, and visit the author at www.jdrhawkins.com and follow her on AllAuthor.comFacebook,  Goodreads,  Instagram,  Pinterest, and Twitter.

In more news, keep an eye out for my upcoming giveaway on Goodreads. I’ll keep you posted about this.

Book Giveaway For Double-Edged Sword

Double-Edged Sword by J.D.R. Hawkins

Double-Edged Sword

by 

J.D.R. Hawkins (Goodreads Author)

Release date: Apr 18, 2022

We’re giving away 100 ebook copies of this novel by bestselling, award-winning author J.D.R. Hawkins. Enter today! 

Format:Kindle book

Availability:100 copies available, 0 people requesting

Giveaway dates:Jul 22 – Aug 03, 2022

Countries available: U.S.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support! I appreciate you so much!

Another Five-Star Review for Double-Edged Sword

I recently 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, Ivan, for your review!

Ivan

5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up

Reviewed in the United States on July 3, 2022

Verified Purchase

Cavalryman David Summers is coming back to Alabama after fighting the Civil War. Haunted by nightmares, he is ready to go back to a simple life with his brand-new wife beside him. But his journey is far away from over because he still needs to adapt to the new reality, trying to resolve the traumas of his past. After a confrontation with one of his biggest nemeses, he is arrested and thrown into jail, and now his biggest issue is to convince the jury of his innocence.

Double-Edged Sword is the fourth book of the Renegade series, written by J.D.R Hawkins. The story brings up the past, and the dilemmas people had to face during and after the war. The writing transports the reader to the old times, and the characters and the plot make this book interesting till the end.

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 Review for Double-Edged Sword

I recently received an awesome review for my new novel, Double-Edged Sword. This book is the fourth one in the Renegade Series. Thank you so much, Phil Bolos, for your review! (BTW, this book is not the final one in the series.)


Phil Bolos

5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling end to the series

Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2022

Double-Edged Sword: A Novel of Reconstruction Book Four of the Renegade Series by J.D.R Hawkins is the final book in the series and does a great job of bringing the characters back to their origins while forcing them to confront the enemies of their past. The Civil War is over and David Summers is headed home with his wife. Alabama has changed a lot since he left, and David can see that in the people and in the landscape. While David is looking to put the past behind him and move forward, a long lost enemy soon shows his face and a new type of war begins. Soon David’s life is on the line again, but this time it is in a court of law. Will David be going to jail, or will the truth come out and save him?

This book does a great job of bringing together a great fictional story while also giving us some hypothetical historical fiction. I think that fans of thrillers will enjoy this book and the series that it is a part of.

New Review for A Rebel Among Us

I recently received another amazing review for my novel, A Rebel Among Us. This is the third book in the Renegade Series. Thank you, US Review of Books, for your fantastic review!

A Rebel Among Us: A Novel of the Civil War (The Renegade Series Book 3)
by J. D. R. Hawkins
Westwood Books Publishing
book review by Mihir Shah


“The anguish in her eyes broke David’s heart. He gazed down at her and, as reassurance, gave her a sorrowful smile.”


How one acts in the face of adversity is often a true reflection of one’s character. This is no different for the protagonist, Anna Brady, a teenager who harbors a soldier from the Confederate Army as the Civil War is reaching its most pivotal point. Despite fears of being labeled complicit in a crime, Anna finds herself mesmerized by Alabama native David Summers. More than that, though, she recognizes that he is near certain death after being wounded at Gettysburg, and if she doesn’t help, his blood will be on her. As the story unfolds, Hawkins does a masterful job of using the Civil War as a stage to highlight the torturous choices faced by those who lived through these times.


Centered around the dichotomy between love and war, the entirety of the premise revolves around a forbidden love story that clashes head-on with the throes of war and egos. Using strong character development to showcase the instant bonds that Anna and her two younger sisters, Abigail and Maggie, form with Summers’ horse, Renegade, the author does a commendable job of keeping the plot flowing with energy. The work is largely driven by the developing relationship betwwen Anna and David (a teenager blossoming into a woman and a perceived traitor to his country) and the inevitable chaos that will ensue when the truth comes out.

The antagonist of the story, Stephen Montgomery, ironically a Union sergeant, is a thorn in the side of Anna and David’s love story. But in reality, the thematic question that the author tests to its limit is at what point and at what cost can love still reign supreme? That internal battle pits Anna and David against their individual duties. For David, the burden of filling the void left behind by his father and supporting his family weigh heavily against his desire to be with Anna, while Anna is mired in caring for her sisters after the loss of her father.


With one obstacle after another continually in their way, the couple’s resolve is almost endlessly tested, whether it is by Anna’s aunt, Sarah, who encourages David to understand the ramifications of his and Anna’s union, or Maggie, the sister who refuses to accept David. In the story, readers are exposed to the perspective of the Confederacy, how they would have viewed President Lincoln, and the ruthlessness of Union soldiers toward captive soldiers. As historical fiction, Hawkins’ work is especially intriguing because of the raw, authentic settings and tension that is being created. Conjuring the palpable feeling of a nation divided amongst itself is downright harrowing, and the contentious dynamic between Stephen Montgomery and David Summer is simply the epitome of that.


While Anna and David are front and center, numerous other storylines are simultaneously heartwarming and gut-wrenching, such as Claudia and Abigail’s expression of childhood innocence and exuberance and the genuine friendship formed between David and Patrick, a neighbor in whom Anna confided wholeheartedly. Above all else, what makes this story so intriguing is the purity of a love story grounded in the faith of the human spirit and unwavering resolve, come what may. Acceptance, or the lack thereof, is a strong theme that resonates universally in Hawkins’ work. Against the backdrop of the Civil War, the duality of war and love create a riveting environment that holds the reader’s attention from cover to cover.


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