Wednesday, October 28, 2015

REVIEW: Three Days in Hell (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Three Days In Hell 
Author: Blair Howard
Series: N/A
Pages: 198
Date Published: 2015
Format: Kindle
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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For more than two months, Union General William Rosecrans and his Army of the Cumberland pursued General Braxton Bragg's Confederate Army of Tennessee from Murfreesboro to Chattanooga. Finally, on September 18, 1863, on the banks of a small river in Northwest Georgia, the two great armies came face to face, and so began three days of hell, including the two bloodiest days of our nation's Civil War.

This is the story of Confederate General Johnson's three days at Chickamauga, and his grand and glorious charge of more than a mile that smashed through the enemy lines and resulted in a resounding victory for the Confederate cause and an ignominious defeat for General Rosecrans. Even Johnson's enemies praised what he did that day. Some compared it to Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, but where Pickett failed, Johnson succeeded.

~My Thoughts~
Set primarily through the eyes of the confederate army, this book was brief flash (three days) of the trials and trauma of the Civil War. Although I still can't say that I approve of the confederate side in general, Blair brought the passionate, sometimes reckless, and intelligent decisions of several historical figures to life in a way that really showed their humanity. 

In terms of my typical brand of historical fiction, I tend to stay in the realm of historical romances or YA. A lot of the most poignant moments of historical fiction center around moments of great conflict, including wars with lots of death and devastation. To me, that's a bit of a downer, but despite the more somber nature of Three Days in Hell, I did enjoy it for it's historical significance and relevance.

I appreciated that the writing style wasn't too formal. While the battles and historical settings were obviously from the 1800's the grammar and phrasing felt like something that would be written today, making it easier to understand and follow. 

To me, the pacing was slow. While there was a lot of battle-action and calls for glory and to rally the troops, it was a little lacking in character development. This is historical fiction and while the history was really impressive, the fiction was less than present. At times the book reminded me of a textbook story on the civil war. Still, Blair's passion for the Civil War, and for delving deep into each battle was clear and gave the story a lot of life when it could have been super dull. I really appreciated his passion! 
~Try an Excerpt!~
Up front where we were, the road ahead was clear, a nice easy ride. For the infantry, it was a nightmare. I remember looking back along the column and shuddering when I saw the swirling clouds of thick, choking dust over the ranks; the farther back, the thicker the dust. For the first hundred yards there wasn’t much dust. Beyond that, the lead regiment, the 17th Tennessee, had disappeared in the thick haze. How those marching soldiers must have suffered.

Around six-forty-five in the morning, we arrived on the banks of Pea Vine Creek, a little more than a mile and a half east of Reed’s Bridge, and they spotted us. There must have been at least a thousand of them, Federal infantry, cavalry, we couldn’t tell.

They were well hidden under cover of a line of trees, on the far side of an open field some 500 to 600 yards across – the road we were on ran right through the center of it.

We were taken completely by surprise. The first we knew of them was when we were met by a firestorm of Minié balls. Fortunately, the range was extreme. Only two men were hit – both junior lieutenants – and several horses, including mine, although the wound was a minor one. Still it turned my usually docile beast into a wild thing that did its best to fling me out of the saddle.

For several minutes, there was utter chaos at the head of the column as the horses of the more than eighty officers and men reared, wheeled, and bucked as we tried to maintain some semblance of order and turn back. Two of Forrest’s escort went down, along with several more horses, screaming and kicking. The horses made much easier targets for the sharpshooters at extreme range. Fortunately, however, most of the incoming fire went over our heads, probably due to the enemy over compensating for the distance. 
~Meet Blair!~ 
Blair Howard was born and raised in England, near Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare Country), close to the English Cotswolds. He writes sweeping historical epics, and is the author of four historical novels, with a fifth due to be released at the end of July this year: be on the lookout for Three Days in Hell: a Novel of the American Civil War. His current novels are: Chickamauga: a Novel of the American Civil War; The Mule Soldiers: a Novel of the American Civil War; The Chase: a Novel of the American Civil War: and Comanche: a Novel of the Old West. All of Blair's books are available on Amazon as eBooks or Paperbacks.

Blair is also a travel writer and professional photographer specializing in golf travel, vacation travel, and golf course photography. His travels take him throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean playing golf, writing about his experiences, and photographing the golf courses he visits.

Blair is the author of more than 40 books and more than 4,500 magazine, newspaper, and web articles. His work has appeared in many national and international publications, including Delta's Sky Magazine, PHOTOgraphic magazine, The Mail on Sunday, The Walking Magazine, Petersen's Hunting Magazine, The Boston Herald, The Detroit Free-Press, The Anchorage Times and many more.

 Blair will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and your review. This book sounds quite interesting! I have added this book to my TBR list and look forward to checking it out!

  2. Thank you for the chance to win :)

  3. I'd love to win, and buy this book for my husband. What a great Christmas present this would be. He loves civil war history. We do live in Charleston, SC.

  4. Thank you for hosting.
    Blair Howard

  5. """... Blair is the author of more than 40 books and more than 4,500 magazine, newspaper, and web articles...." 4,500? Wow. We hear of how many books people write, but I'm impressed with the articles in ADDITION to the books (plus the fact that you've kept track)! Well done!

  6. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

  7. Great excerpt, sounds like a really good book, thanks for sharing it and your thoughts!

  8. What three things do you think of the most each day?

  9. interesting book and thanks for sharing your review :)

  10. Thank you for sharing an interesting moment in history! Thank you