In 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.
As an enthusiast of American History, southerner by birth, patriot and writer-the American Civil War is a subject near and dear to my heart. J.D.R. Hawkins writes stores that center around the War Between the States, men who fought and families who endured the struggles and strife of war. There are many aspects of the war that can be told. A war so complex and so many divisions among the citizens and families. Many find this subject too controversial. It doesn’t have to be. Many of the reasons I think it is because the facts have been distorted over time and often times people do not like to face the truth no matter how uncomfortable it can be. Anyhow, back to the story. I read this story a while back and would like to revisit it again. I have been buried in research of late surrounding this subject-as I am writing my own story about southern families and the cost of war- and I would like to see if I have any new opinions towards J.D.R.’s story.
Be sure to check out J.D.R.’s message below and check out her newly released book and Facebook event!
Stephanie M. Hopkins
A message from J.D.R. Hawkins:
I have had to face a few challenges as a Southern writer. The biggest one is, I’m not originally from the South. I was born in the Midwest, but moved to Phoenix when I was a baby. Since then, I have lived in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and for the most part, Colorado. I also lived in Mississippi for five years. My friends there have told me I’m officially a Southerner once I pass the five-year mark, so I guess that qualifies me! Because I’m not from the South but write from a Southern perspective, it has been difficult and challenging at times. I have met a few sceptics along the way. I even had one woman who I thought was my friend criticize me, and that hurt. For the most part, though, people are super friendly and helpful. I have asked several friends on different occasions about how to write proper Southern slang, phrasing, protocol, etc., and they are always eager to help. Some of my best friends live in Memphis and Mississippi, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.
I have also found that people in Colorado are far more receptive to Southern literature, especially when it comes to the Civil War. In Sioux Falls, where I lived for three years, people were not interested in the Confederacy at all, so I had a hard time selling my books, even though I got media interviews. In Iowa, however, people were fascinated with the Confederate side of the story. This is something most Midwesterners don’t know about, because it isn’t taught in school. It’s strange and interesting how different parts of the country react. Now that I’m back in Colorado, I intend to put what I’ve learned to good use and share it with my fans and fellow authors.
A Rebel Among Us available at Amazon.
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