Book Review & Giveaway: Of Blood and Brothers by E. Michael Helms


17239254Title: Of Blood and Brothers

Author: E. Michael Helms

Publication Date: September 1, 2013

Description (from Goodreads):

In the spring of 1927, ambitious cub reporter Calvin Hogue covers a family reunion in the Florida Panhandle. He learns two Malburn brothers fought on opposing sides during the Civil War, and encourages them to tell their stories. Before the night is over, Calvin realizes he has a far greater story than a run-of-the-mill family reunion.

Thus begins the first of many sessions with the Malburn brothers. The saga unfolds in their own words with wit, wisdom and sometimes, sadness. Before long the brothers are confronting troubled pasts and conjuring up ghosts laid buried throughout the long post-war years. Calvin is swept along by the harrowing eyewitness account of our nation’s most trying era, through bloody battles, personal trials and losses, and the mutual love of a beautiful young woman.

Book One follows the exploits of Daniel Malburn and the 6th FL Infantry through the battles of Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain/Missionary Ridge. While working at the salt works along St. Andrew Bay, Elijah is taken prisoner by Union forces. Faced with imprisonment, he reluctantly chooses to join the 2nd US FL Cavalry as a scout, only to learn he must lead a destructive raid on the Econfina Valley—his lifelong home.


I was given a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Of Blood and Brothers is written in an interesting style with Calvin Hogue, a reporter, doing a series of stories for his newspaper about two brothers who fought on opposite sides of the Civil War. This story intrigued me because, although I’ve read plenty of historical fiction, I had never really thought about the impact the Civil War had on families who fought on opposite sides and how it would have affected those relationships well into the 20th century.

Of Blood and Brothers is full of history and the battle scenes are very well written. They’re descriptive and realistic and make the reader feel the emotions of the soldiers. 

Anyone who likes historical fiction or is interested in the Civil War would enjoy this book. I look forward to reading the next one.

Available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:

download (1)E. Michael Helms is a USMC combat veteran. His memoir of the Vietnam War, The Proud Bastards, has been called, “As powerful and compelling a battlefield memoir as any ever written … a modern military classic,” and has been in print for most of
the past 20 years.

His work has also appeared in the books: Semper Fi: Stories of U.S. Marines from Boot Camp to Battle (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003); Soldier’s Heart: Survivors’ Views of Combat Trauma (The Sidran Press, 1995); and Two Score and Ten: The Third
Marine Division History (Turner Publishing, 1992).
Book One of his two-part historical saga, Of Blood and Brothers, will be released Septemeber 1, 2013, with Book Two following in March 2014.
The first novel of his Mac McClellan Mystery series, Deadly Catch, is scheduled for a Fall 2013 release.


2 Autographed Copies of Blood & Brothers

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3 thoughts on “Book Review & Giveaway: Of Blood and Brothers by E. Michael Helms

  1. Closed the Cover (@ClosedTheCover) December 21, 2013 / 7:15 pm

    I’m so glad you liked the book! While I have read a lot of Civil War fiction that talks about split families during the war I had also never considered this impact years or decades later and how it may have affected people later in life. I loved this book.


    • sleepygirl2 December 22, 2013 / 5:29 am

      It is a good one. I appreciate having the opportunity to read and review it.


      • E. Michael Helms December 22, 2013 / 10:12 am

        Thank you for hosting my book, and for the wonderful review! –Michael Helms


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