Sunday, 22 December 2013

Blog Tour: Of Blood and Brothers - E. Michael Helms - Review + giveaway!

Of Blood and Brothers

The blurb.
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.

My opinion.

Being European, the American Civil War is not something I know all that much about. Let's start by saying that Of Blood and Brothers definitely changed that. No boring textbook play-by-plays of the war and all its separate battles, but a very real account of how it actually was for people involved. Of Blood and Brothers is a story about war, but even more so about love, friendship and family.

Michael Helms tells the story of both Malburn brothers with such amazing detail you can almost feel the heath and the dust. Those long ago battles and memories are brought back to life thanks to his brilliant writing. 

[Without giving too much away: I do have to say I liked reading Eli's account most.]
Book one definitely leaves you wanting more. You've gotten to know both brothers and Calvin and you'll be desperate to find out how the rest of their story continues. Michael Helms included some very exciting cliffhangers, so reading book two is a definite must (more info about book two below).

Book info.
Edition: First Edition
Format: eBook and Paperback
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Publisher: Koehler Books
ISBN: 1938467515
ISBN13: 9781938467516

Add Of Blood and Brothers to Goodreads and find it on Amazon

About the Author

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).

Helms lives with his wife in the Upstate region of South Carolina in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Giveaway (US only!)

WIN 2 autographed copies of Of Blood and Brothers!

Book Two, the sequel to Of Blood and Brothers, will be released in March of 2014. 
The story of the Malburn brothers, Daniel and Elijah, picks up where Book One in the series ends. The South surrenders, but the peace is far from won. Trouble stalks the Malburns in post-war Florida. Amid the violent days of Reconstruction, Daniel and Elijah face continuing conflict, family turmoil and heart-wrenching tragedy as they struggle toward a hard-earned and costly reconciliation

add Book Two to Goodreads



  1. Thank you for the wonderful review, Maryline. I am so pleased you enjoyed the story! If you wish to read a PDF of Book Two, please e-mail me at:

    Wishing you and yours all the best!


    1. That is really sweet of you Michael, thank you and I would love to read Book Two, email is on it's way!

      Happy Holidays to you and your family

  2. Maryline I am so happy that you liked the book! Thanks so much for being a part of our tour.

    1. My pleasure Ashley, really enjoyed it! Thank you for putting the Tour together. x