J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Renegade Series”

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.


RECOMMENDED by the US Review
©2022 All Rights Reserved • The US Review of Books

Another Stellar Review for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

I received another flattering review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. This book is the first one in the Renegade Series. Thank you so much, Sophie Narey, for your review!

A Beautiful Glittering Lie: A Novel of the Civil War
by 

J.D.R. Hawkins (Goodreads Author)

Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic) ‘s review

Jun 24, 2022

really liked it

This is not the usual type of book that I read but the blurb was the thing that completely drew me into it. This is the first book in the series , set in the Civil War , we follow Hiram Summers as he is thrown into the combat , his family who have to stay behind struggle without him there but know he had to enlist and fight for the cause. Hiram and his son uncover the meaning of the war and soon realise that the choices they have made have torn the family they love apart.

It is brilliantly written , it has lots of action , secrets and drama to keep hold of your attention and keep you reading on. The book is only 199pages which for me is the perfect length of book in this genre , it is quick to read for the fact it flows so well throughout the book. It definitely makes me want to read on the rest of the series.

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.

Excerpt from Double-Edged Sword

I’m very excited about my new book, Double-Edged Sword, and I wanted to share an excerpt from the novel. This is from the first chapter. It will give you an idea of what it must have been like to see the South after the Civil War ended.

Excerpt from Double-Edged Sword

He turned and drove several blocks, trying to recall the direction of the house where he had stayed on his first night away from home. Everything appeared so different, and bluecoats were everywhere, swarming like flies. Down the street, a row of sutlers’ shops had been erected for the benefit of the Union troops. The newlyweds turned a corner and continued on, past structures that were once beautiful homes, but now sat empty, the glass in their windows shattered, their walls crumbling. Tent cities and clapboard structures cluttered vacant lots. Some of the boards were still adorned with wallpaper, an obvious declaration that the walls had been torn from citizens’ private dwellings. David recognized a two-story house, even though the paint was peeling around the window frames and the yard was filled with knee-high weeds.

“This is it?” Anna asked. “It isn’t quite how you described it.”

“It ain’t how I remember it, either,” he said.

He jumped down and tied the mule, then assisted his wife. They climbed the steps together. David tapped on the door. The brass knocker that had been there before was gone; holes from the bolts that had held it in place were all that remained. There came no response, so after a few moments, he tapped again.

“Last time I was here, she had a butler. Tall black feller, name of … Henry.” David nodded as he recalled. “He didn’t take to us much.” He flashed Anna a grin.

“He’s long gone by now, no doubt,” she said.

David tapped once more, but still no response came, so he tried the knob. The door stuck in the jam at first, but then creaked loudly on its hinges.

“Do you think we should go in there?” asked Anna.

He stepped inside. The long hallway was as dark as he remembered, but the lavish paintings that had adorned the walls were missing. Anna followed him down the hall to a large room that was empty except for a solitary wooden stool that squatted in the center. The ornate draperies David remembered had been ripped down, and a transparent gauze sheet had been draped across the broken windows in an attempt to keep insects out. The fireplace stood dark and empty, and the tapestries David remembered seeing were all gone, along with the furniture and knick knacks.

“I don’t think anyone’s here,” Anna whispered.

David walked to the window and looked outside. The back of the house was just as neglected as the front, and the stable doors yawned open with a passing breeze. There was nothing inside. He heard a thump and reeled around to see a small man standing behind Anna. She turned and gasped at the same time before rushing to her husband.

“Can I be of service to y’all?” the man asked feebly.

“Josiah?” David said, taking a step closer. “Is that you?”

The little man held his hand out to him. “That would be me. How may I help y’all?”

“Don’t you remember me?” asked David, trying to keep his voice quiet. “I’m David Summers. I came here with my friend, Jake Kimball. We met on the train from Huntsville, remember?”  

The man didn’t seem to recall, so David went on.

“Your wife, Miss Martha, she had us stay the night. And her sister was here. Miss Mattie?”

“When did you say this was?” The old man shuffled to the wooden stool and sat down.

“It was in April of sixty-three. We were on our way to jine up with Jeb Stuart.”

The words seemed to register. Josiah looked up and smiled. “Yes. Yes! I believe I do remember you!” He stood up and vigorously shook David’s hand.

“This here’s Anna, my wife,” he introduced.

She stepped toward him. “Sir,” she said, taking his bony little hand in both of hers.

“Where’s Miss Martha? I’d surely like to see her.” David chuckled. “She made me promise to stop by the next time I was in town.”

The smile vanished from Josiah’s furrowed face. Suddenly, he looked very old. “She’s gone,” he said flatly.

“Where did she go?” Anna inquired.

Josiah sank back down onto the stool. “She left me … when the Yankees came. She got so upset with the occupation that one day, she …” His voice trailed off.

David exchanged glances with his wife. “She what, Josiah?”

He looked up at them, his eyes filled with grief. “She took the pistol out from under the mattress … and put it to her head.”

“Dear God!” exclaimed David.

Anna’s mouth dropped open.

“It was more than the poor darlin’ could bear, havin’ Hooker’s army come in here and take everything we owned. They took the nigger, they took the horses, they even took the rugs out from under our feet. Stripped clean, jist like a plague of locusts.” He paused, the silence overwhelming, then said, “Wilst they were fightin’, there was a lunar eclipse. Do you reckon it was some kind of omen?”

David gulped. “What happened to Miss Mattie?” he asked, afraid to hear the reply. “Where’s Miss Martha’s sister?”

“She’s gone too. Ran off before they got here, and I haven’t seen nor heard from her since.”

“Do you know where she went?” Anna asked, taking her husband’s arm to steady herself.

“No idea. I’m all alone here. Have been for quite some time now.”

David was at a loss, not knowing what to say. “We could take you somewhere. So you ain’t alone,” he suggested.

“And where would that be?” Josiah stood, slowly straightening. “The whole of the South is like this now. And besides, this here’s my home, and I’ll be damned to leave it.”

“Can we do anything for you?” Anna inquired.

“Jist leave me be, young’uns. I can fend for myself. Nice of y’all to stop by, though.” He sashayed into the parlor, or what David remembered to be the parlor, and closed a dark oak door behind him.

“We should go,” suggested Anna.

David glanced at her, unable to speak. He felt helpless, like he should do something, but was at a loss as to what. She took his hand and led him outside, where they boarded the wagon in silence and rode back to the depot. Chattanooga, David understood, had aged tremendously, just like Josiah. The town of two thousand was now overrun with bluecoats who seemed unconcerned with the annihilation they’d caused. What was once an elegant town was now demoralized by Yankees, and the whole city appeared beaten down and ancient.

Two New Reviews for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

I recently received two new five-star reviews for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. This book is the first one in the Renegade Series. Thank you so much, VEdwards and Joshua Grant, for your reviews!

VEdwards

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read

It was interesting to read a book on the Civil War from the average Southern resident’s perspective. I haven’t really found any that tell of the bad things the Northern soldiers did to the Southern cities and people. The North is painted in such a positive light by most books that you really don’t get a realistic sense of the truth. The writing was excellent and the characters interesting. Descriptions of both everyday life and battle were well written and distinctive. I look forward to reading more from JDR Hawkins.


Joshua Grant

5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and emotional look at the Civil War from the perspective of one family!

JDR Hawkins brings the Civil War to life through the eyes of a family in A Beautiful Glittering Lie! The Confederacy has just broken away from the Union and Southern farmer Hiram Summers decides to enlist in the army, soon getting whisked away to war. Meanwhile, his wife Caroline and son David discover the realities of war on the home front. I loved Hawkins’ focus on this one family as it gave the avenue to see the war from three different perspectives: that of the soldier, the youth, and the mother trying to make ends meet on the farm! This is a novel with great feeling and intrigue, and I loved the characters and getting to experience their moral struggle. If you’re interested in the Civil War and want a good emotional novel, come enlist with A Beautiful Glittering Lie!

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