Archive for the ‘book reviews’ Category

gettysburg_general_armistead_picketts_chargeMy inspiration for writing about the Civil War had an unusual beginning. During high school, I wasn’t really interested in history, probably because I had a mundane, monotone teacher. Years later, I moved to Colorado, and became fascinated with the Victorian era because of the old mining and mountain towns. While in Glenwood Springs, I entered a contest at a toy store to win a trip to Gettysburg. Looking back, I think it was divine intervention of some sort, because I won. I had never seen a battlefield of any kind before, so when I saw the Gettysburg battlefield, I was awestruck. It was much larger than I had ever imagined, and when I started hearing some of the heart wrenching stories about the soldiers, I wanted to write one of my own. I decided to incorporate some of their stories into my book.

I wrote A Beckoning Hellfire, but decided it was too long, so I split it in two. The second half became A Rebel Among Us. I then wrote another sequel, yet to be published, and a prequel titled A Beautiful Glittering Lie. The Renegade Series is based on real life situations, although the main characters are fictitious. The series revolves around a family from north Alabama, and how the war impacts their lives. I wanted to write from the Southern perspective to give readers an idea of what a typical Southern soldier fought for and experienced. Growing up in Iowa, I was taught that the Civil War was fought over slavery, but I couldn’t understand why every Southern soldier would fight to preserve such an evil institution. After doing my own research, I learned that wasn’t the case at all. So I decided to write a story about why Southerners (and those who didn’t own slaves) fought for Dixie. A Rebel Among Us is unique from the first two books in the series, because it doesn’t involve battle scenes, it has a strong romantic element, and it discusses attitudes and opinions from both sides of the war.

A Beautiful, Glittering Lie (Renegade #1)

14425456In the spring of 1861, a country once united is fractured by war. Half of America fights for the Confederate cause; the other, for unification. Rebel forces have already seized Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, a new Confederate president has been elected, and the Constitution has been revised. In north Alabama, a farmer and father of three decides to enlist. For Hiram Summers, it is the end of everything he has ever known.

After Hiram travels to Virginia with the Fourth Alabama Infantry Regiment, he is quickly thrust into combat. His son, David, who must stay behind, searches for adventure at home by traipsing to Huntsville with his best friend, Jake Kimball, to scrutinize invading Yankees. Meanwhile, Caroline – Hiram’s wife and David’s mother – struggles to keep up with the farm as her world revolves around the letters she receives from her husband, whom she misses dearly. As Hiram and his son discover the true meaning of war, they soon realize that their choices have torn their family apart.

In this historical tale, the naïveté of a young country is tested, a father sacrifices everything to defend his home, and a young man longs for adventure – regardless of the perilous cost.

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Winner of the 2013 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award

2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

Winner of Editor’s Choice Award

Honorable Mention – 2013 DIY Book Festival

Honorable Mention – 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival

Civil war tore families apart, and many of those families fought to stay together every step of the way. A Beautiful Glittering Lie is a novel of the American Civil War, as J.D.R. Hawkins writes of the Summers family and the rift the war brought to their family. Drawing on her heritage to tell the tale, Hawkins presents an insightful and riveting read of a family at war. A Beautiful Glittering Lie is a strong pick for historical fiction collections. ~ Able Greenspan- Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

A Beckoning Hellfire (Renegade #2)

2851467During the bloody American Civil War, the stark reality of death leads one young man on a course of revenge that takes him from his quiet farm in northern Alabama to the horrific battlefields of Virginia and Pennsylvania.

On Christmas Eve 1862, David Summers hears the dreaded news: his father has perished at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Reeling with grief and thoughts of vengeance, David enlists and sets off for Richmond to join the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

But once in the cavalry, David’s life changes drastically, and his dream of glamorous chivalry becomes nothing but a cold, cruel existence of pain and suffering. He is hurled into one battle after another, and his desire for revenge wanes when he experiences first-hand the catastrophes of war.

A haunting look at the human side of one of America’s most tragic conflicts, A Beckoning Hellfire speaks to the delusion of war’s idealism.

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Hawkins should be nicknamed `Arachne’ for the beautiful tapestries she weaves of the Civil War. Without a doubt, 5/5 stars. ~ Susan Barton

The author gives the reader a realistic view of the horrors of the battlefield, along with the characters’ reactions to all that happens around them. ~ Elaine

A Rebel Among Us (Renegade #3)

5184nldldelAfter 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?

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About the Author

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

j-d-r-hawkinsHer Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, A Beckoning Hellfire, and A Rebel Among Us. All three novels are award winners, and 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, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Ms. Hawkins is currently working on a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as another sequel to her series.

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Insurance-Greed-31Despite the World Health Organization predicting a 70% increase in cancer cases worldwide over the next 20 years, there remains no cure or vaccine. One man from North Carolina, disgusted by the lack of progress and with his own father dying from pancreatic cancer, angrily embarks upon a personal crusade to find a cure before it’s too late. In the face of personal tragedy, he defies the odds and stumbles upon a cure that could change the course of history, only to find the real battle has just begun.

“If you stumbled upon a cure for cancer,
would you throw it away?”

 

LogoA Questionable Cure is a newly released fact-based fiction novel about a man who finds a cure for cancer – and then throws it away. It’s disturbing and funny, informative and entertaining, heartbreaking, surprising, and sobering. In his debut novel, Roger Gerald Scott calls into question much of what many of us might like to believe about the people we are and the society we live in.

“Shines a light into true facts about cancer, research, the medical profession, and the pharmaceutical industry, which is funding research for its cure – but also profiting from its existence.”

A Questionable Cure  was released worldwide on March 11th

Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle

http://amzn.to/1x7Vtzs 

Read what British journalist Aysha Mendes said about this novel: CLICK HERE

“…refreshingly original, written with authenticity, and with bewildering revelations around every bend. Not to mention the impressive handling of American terminology and detail from Scott, who is a Brit living in Norway.”

For more details, go to:

www.rogergeraldscott.com

https://www.facebook.com/aquestionablecure

https://twitter.com/aquestioncure

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About Roger Gerald Scott

Roger was born in 1970 in Surrey, England. After his education at Oundle School and Oxford, he embarked on careers in music publishing, songwriting and software engineering before eventually settling on a career as a professional musician. He now lives in Norway.

Honor Among Orcs

by Amalia Dillin 

Designed by: Melissa Stevens (Website)

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Series: Orc Saga, Book One

Genre: Fantasy (18+)

After nearly a decade as the king’s whipping-girl, Princess Arianna has no intention of going quietly into marriage to some treasonous noble, or serving obediently as the king’s spy until her death is more convenient. When she discovers a handsome orc, chained and trapped inside a magic mirror, Arianna cannot help but see a lasting freedom from her father’s abuse.

Left to rot inside a mirror by the king, Bolthorn never imagined his prayers would be answered by a princess. Nor did he ever expect to meet so worthy a woman after knowing her father’s cruelty. He needs her help to escape the mirror before the king marches against the orcs, but all he can offer Arianna is ice and darkness in exchange for her aid.

If Arianna can free the monster behind the glass, perhaps she might free herself, as well. But once they cross the mountain, there will be no return, and the deadly winter is the least of what threatens them on the other side. Romance blossoms in this gripping fantasy adventure.

EXCERPT

He knew these woods, sparse as they had become, and when they broke, he knew the tundra of the foothills too. Just before dawn, he found the outcrop beneath which he had made a shelter his first night beyond the mountains, and though he did not dare to light a fire, the sedge made a soft bed.

After a meal of apples and cheese, the last of their food, Arianna curled against his side, sharing the fur, and rested her head on his shoulder. He tested her forehead for fever and breathed his relief when she did not burn against his palm.

She tugged his hand away, a small smile curving her lips. “You worry overmuch. There are still two days of warmth before I must fight your cruel winds. I will be well enough for your mountains by then.”

His fingers lingered against her skin and her smile faded. He traced the clan-markings on her cheek and her lips parted, her heart thrumming in his ears.

“Bolthorn –”

Up the bridge of her nose and over her eyebrow, the umber flaked from her skin, coloring his fingertip. Down along the line of her jaw, to the pulse point beneath. Her breathing hitched. He only wished the marks had reached her collarbone, to give him some excuse to trail his fingers across the smooth skin there.

“You make a beautiful orc.”

“Not a Vala?” she asked, her eyelashes sweeping across her cheek.

“The Vala cannot marry.” The sunlight caught in her hair, flashing reds within the rich brown and he smoothed the soft, wild strands from her face. “They cannot bear children, or know the touch of any kind of man after they have made their vows. They know only the ancestors and the mysteries they reveal.”

“Oh,” she breathed.

Oh. It was the first thing she had ever said to him, trembling against the stone. She trembled now, too. As she should, he thought, knowing herself within the arms of an orc. He closed his eyes and drew his hand back. This was a dangerous game to play with her so near, so vulnerable.

“Sleep well, princess,” he said, his jaw tight against his need. “You’ll want your strength.”

She made a noise in the back of her throat, but when he glanced at her, she had turned away.

About the Author

Amalia Dillin began as a Biology major before taking Latin and falling in love with old heroes and older gods. After that, she couldn’t stop writing about them, with the occasional break for more contemporary subjects. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, and dreams of the day when she will own goats–to pull her chariot through the sky, of course.

Amalia is the author of the Fate of the Gods trilogy from World Weaver Press, and the soon to be released Orc Saga, coming April 1, 2014. You can learn more about her work at www.amaliadillin.com

  

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