Brooklyn James Interview with Old Victorian Quill

 Interview with ‘The Boots My Mother Gave Me’ author Brooklyn James.

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Everyone give a warm welcome to the amazing Brooklyn James, author of ‘The Boots My Mother Gave Me’.

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1) Music is a huge part of Harley’s life, and you yourself are a singer. How much does music inspire your writing?

I cannot fathom one without the other…music and writing. As a songwriter, it seems the most natural thing. Writing songs is so similar to writing novels.

The only difference is, you get three or four minutes to tell your story versus eighty-thousand words…lol.

I’ve got two original music soundtracks to two of my novels, if that’s any idea of much music inspires my writing. My first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me — I wrote the manuscript before I wrote the songs. So, essentially with

that project, the book and the story inspired the emotionality of the music and the lyrical prose of the songs. With my latest novel, Jolie Blonde (currently in production) — we actually wrote and finished the album before the book. Therefore, in this instance, certain scenes/attitudes/emotions within the book were inspired by the soundtrack.

Even when I’m writing a novel that doesn’t have an original music soundtrack, I am constantly inspired by music. If I’m writing a scene and I really want to get inside the characters heads, I try and think of a song that depicts such emotion. Then I go and listen to it, and it usually provokes enough emotional stimulus for me to dive into writing the scene.

Music is the quickest way for me to access my emotions. There is just something about a melody, a lyric, a beat that feels as if it reaches inside my gut and grabs a hold. I think that access saves me often in my writing. I have some trust and vulnerability issues from my childhood. I don’t do either well. I’m much more comfortable with detachment. Music is the one thing that can make me vulnerable in seconds. I trust music.

 

2) Abuse is a very prominent theme in this book, and you give a very realistic view of the struggle that victims have to go through to leave their abusive past behind them. How important to you is it that this issue be addressed to younger readers?

Abuse of any kind, particularly domestic violence is a subject near and dear to my heart. Growing up with a psychologically, emotionally and sometimes physically abusive father, I know the scars abuse can leave. And not particularly on the skin, but the heart, the soul, the psyche.

I’ve been fortunate to serve as a guest speaker for several organizations that promote awareness and prevention of domestic violence. My most favorite audiences are teenagers. I remember being a teenager and how it felt living in my dysfunctional home. At times I wondered if we were the only ones who lived as such. Therefore, I love most to share my story with youths. To let them know that they are not alone, and that there is life after abuse. That it can be beautiful, serene, healthy and productive — if they can get beyond their past and refuse to be part of that cycle.

The Boots My Mother Gave Me is a coming of age story at its core. I think everyone goes through something to become someone. Every young person who ‘comes of age’ goes through something uncomfortable, unconventional, maybe even unfair. We all have a story. Harley’s just so happens to be abuse.

I know some folks can be very leery of such topics. I mean, who wants to think about, talk about, read about ‘bad’ things? But bad experiences are a part of life for some people. And I feel like there are several philosophies and ‘aha moments’ in Harley’s journey that are relatable across the board, not just to abuse.

If there is one thing I could say to any reader who may be skeptical to pick up a book that deals with something as real and as wrenching as abuse, I would say don’t dwell on the abuse factor. Pick it up and read it for the triumph factor — the survivor experience. Harley’s journey is long and windy, but she’s a survivor. And the love story is quite uplifting as well!

3) I loved reading the journey’s of all the different characters, and loved how well rounded secondary characters like Cassidy were. Were there any particular characters whose stories you loved writing as well as Harley and Jeremiah’s?

Thank you for saying so! Yes, I loved writing the grandmother character, Gram. I was very close to my grandmother growing up. It made me a bit of an old soul you could say. As a kid, I would rather go to my grandmother’s house than a friend’s — that’s how much I loved and admired her.

Harley’s Gram, in the book, is based on my Gram. It was a really cool and

cathartic experience for me to be able to stroll down memory lane and rehash all of her quirks and sayings and mannerisms. I probably got the most emotional writing her scenes.

My Gram passed fourteen years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. She was my hero. To be able to recreate her in my first novel was such a joy and a godsend, really, in helping me to document her spirit. I just wish she could have been around to give me her opinion. I wonder what she would think of how I portrayed her? She was the coolest woman with the most ‘sand’ I ever knew!

4) ‘The Boots My Mother Gave Me’ has some very deep and emotional topics. How do you get yourself in and out of that frame of mind for writing?

Hmm. Good question. It wasn’t easy writing this book, from an emotional standpoint. I had the idea for quite some time. I thought it would be nonfiction, a memoir, maybe. But every time I sat down to write, I found myself pulling away, only able to commit to a few pages at a time. It hurt too much, I guess. And I’m one of those that when I hurt, I get mad. Not raging mad, just a low simmer. Angry at myself for being weak or vulnerable or whatever you want to call it. Disappointed in myself that it still affects me every now and then.

A few years went by and I finally figured it out — I had to give myself room to soften it up a bit, to add some fiction. Sometimes when you’re in something, it’s hard to see the forest beyond the trees, you know. But if you can only remove yourself and see it from an outsiders perspective, it looks a little different, more manageable. Distance brings clarity, I think. From the moment I made that decision, this book poured out of me in a month’s time. It was a New Year’s resolution, actually. I wanted to face some things, let go of some baggage. And in doing so I rewrote the script to my life.

The most profound thing is that my life started to imitate my art where some of the fictional aspects were concerned (i.e. Jeremiah Johnson…I have ‘one’ in my life now…lol…we’re expecting our first child this Christmas). One of my best girlfriend’s says I “wrote him to me” by displaying my true heart wrapped up in the safety net of fiction. And the most ironic part is that his mother’s maiden name is Johnson. No kidding! Didn’t know him from Adam. Saw him in the gym one day and thought he would make the perfect inspiration for my Miah character. A year and half later, he introduced himself and the rest is history. I was used to my art imitating my life but not the other way around. But it makes for interesting conversation. And when I chat with groups about the book, I always ask them if they could rewrite the script to their lives what would it say. I love their answers!

So the long of the short, to get into that frame of mind is pretty easy. I know that emotion. The question is, am I brave enough to access it? And once I made the commitment to access it, to go there, I had to find healthy ways of coping to get out of that frame of mind. That’s the hard part.

The things I found most helpful in shutting down those emotions while writing were working out and music. I’m big on balance — yin and yang. Once I exhausted my mind and my emotions, I would take off on a run or go lift some weights, get all of those good endorphins running through my system. I don’t know how anyone can be down after a satisfying run. Other times, I would crank up a feel-good CD, grab a glass of wine and dance around in my living room all by myself. The trick is you have to be in your skivvies. That’s the comedic part for me anyway. I’m like, “Who does this?” And I have a good laugh at myself, get my heart rate up and the blood pumping until I exhaust my physical self. Tiring myself out physically somehow helps to release the mental exhaustion as well. I really think it’s that whole body/mind balance thing.

 

5) Is there any author who really inspired you to write yourself?

Oh yes, tons of them! My first recollection would be nursery rhymes as a child. I’m hard-pressed to find out who authored most of those. However, my mother used to read us nursery rhymes regularly. I loved their cadence, the rhyming words. Once I got the pattern down, I would run off to the woods (my rural nature sanctuary) and make up my own infantile rhymes.

Then, as a teen, I found my mother’s romance novels…lol. She was a fan of Janet Dailey. I would sneak those books away to my room and leaf through to all of the steamy parts. Oh, I loved romance, even before I understood it! It stirred something in me, you know that warm feeling in the pit of your stomach. And I remember thinking if Janet Dailey’s words could inspire a physical reaction in me, how cool would that be if one day I could compile words and phrases that transcend readers’ emotions. And to this day, that is one of my must-haves in any book I write, be it a women’s fiction or a supernatural thriller, it has to have some romance, some steam, something to make the reader a little flush in the cheeks.

Thanks to my high school English teacher (the first person who encouraged me to consider writing), I was inspired by authors of Classic Literature. Throughout my high school career, we read and studied the works of Jane Austen, Harper Lee, the Bronte sisters, George Orwell, Louisa May Alcott, Ernest Hemmingway, Oscar Wilde, and the list goes on. Being a woman, my teacher was very cognizant to give our class as many female author assignments as she did male author assignments. I appreciated her deeply for that. Even though a story is a story, regardless of an authors gender, as a young woman, I appreciated the female POV and found much inspiration in the fact that even centuries ago when women may not have enjoyed the liberties my generation was privy to, those women were writing with the best of them – paving the way, so to speak.

In my twenties, I fell in love with poetry and plays. Maya Angelou (Phenomenal Woman is my ultimate fave), D.H. Lawrence, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Tennessee Williams (Cat On A Hot Tin Roof), Victor Hugo (Les Mis). Again, there is just something about the cadence. I think, as an author, there is so much to be learned about voice and style. When you’re drafting a novel, there should be a tone and a measure throughout that sucks the reader in without them even knowing you’re doing it. I have a lot to learn in this respect and I feel strongly that reading poetry will aid in that skill. I receive many compliments on the writing style in The Boots My Mother Gave Me and I know it has a lot to do with my influences in poetry and music.

Nowadays, I find myself particularly inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert and Jeannette Wells. I love their voices, their styles. I enjoy how they take me on a journey. I don’t read for instant gratification. I read to arrive, eventually. And they do that for me. Another author I really enjoy is Lee Child and his Jack Reacher novels. I have a supernatural thriller trilogy (Vigilare) that I authored and I like his quickness, his sense of suspense and urgency. I’d like to improve upon that in my own writing.

And of course, I am inspired by the talent of Indie authors out there right now. Ladies like Abbi Glines, Colleen Hoover, Tammarra Webber. They’re really doing it and doing it BIG. I do enjoy their novels, but as an author, they inspire me more with their ability to compete with their mainstream counterparts. It’s so exciting what’s going on in books and publishing currently.

6) Who is your favourite book boyfriend at the moment? – Give dishy examples for all of us who live life vicariously through fiction.

I LOVE me some Gale Hawthorne from the Hunger Games. I’m starting on book three. I love that he has gray eyes and that Katniss thinks he has ‘looked like a man since age 14.’ I really appreciate those author nuances about characters. Simply knowing that tells me he would probably make me weak in the knees with his hunky, handsome, virile, manly self! My tummy would definitely somersault. I love that he calls Katniss “Catnip.” In my mind, subliminally, he’s telling her she’s irresistible. I adore that he takes care of his family and hers, too, while she is away. That’s a real, dependable, solid guy.

I’m not big on bad boys. I like the good guys. The ones who come to a woman correct. Maybe that’s because I’m in my thirties now…lol. I don’t need all the drama and excitement – give me someone to curl up on the couch with, someone to take shelter in. Although I must say, I just finished REAL by Katy Evans and that Remington (Remy) Tate got my blood all kinds of stirred. He’s a bad boy, yes? But I think Evans’ writing style encouraged that. I thought she did a phenomenal job authoring Brooke’s internal feelings. Evans made me feel everything Brooke was feeling, consequently I fell in love with Remy!

Okay, back to Gale. I think he’s ‘the real McCoy.’ He carries the burden of his family and Katniss’ without complaint. He’s got that quiet, deep thing going on. That drives me bananas! I love a man who is quietly confident and so secure within himself that he doesn’t have to carry on with a bunch of antics. He just is – ahhhhh, I release in a dreamy tone. And it probably doesn’t hurt that he’s played by that hotty-pa-totty Aussie, Liam Hemsworth. I want him and Katniss to get together and have beautiful gray-eyed babies.

7) Can we look forward to any more books from you in the not too distant future?

Speaking of book boyfriends, I’m still crushing on my male lead (Brody McAlister) from my contemporary romance release, Let It Go. We released that one this past spring and it is coming out in paperback at the end of this month. It has a ‘sweet’ steam factor and features two divorcees starting over. So, there’s one of mine that I may recommend.

I also have the Vigilare trilogy. It’s a supernatural thriller/action/adventure series, but as with anything I write, there is an underlying love story/romantic theme. Vigilare features a kick-butt female antihero who serves justice vigilante style. I so have a girl crush on my Vigilare…she’s everything I want in an alter ego!

Releasing this November 2013 is Jolie Blonde, the Vigilare prequel and stand alone romantic suspense. This gives readers some insight into the Vigilare before she was propelled into her conflicting position. It’s a coming of age love story with a hint of mystery and suspense. Writing it has postulated a lot of plot turns and the introduction of a few new characters for my last book in the Vigilare trilogy. Currently, there are Vigilare and Vigilare: Hell Hound (a twist on Greek Mythology). Next year we’ll release the third and final installment, Vigilare: The Torch.

Much like The Boots My Mother Gave Me, Jolie Blonde also has an original music soundtrack. It releases next week. Sampling and pre-orders are available here.

And we have two more contemporary romance novels coming out next year – Just Not Ready, which will be more of a women’s fiction/contemporary romance read, and Kinnected, which I haven’t decided if I will go in more of a YA or NA direction in terms of the romance factor.

Thank you so much for hosting me and introducing me to your readership! With the help of book bloggers such as yourself, we Indies are able to reach an entirely new fan base. Much love and best wishes – Brooklyn James

 

Check out my review for ‘The Boots My Mother Gave Me’ and make sure to add it this great book to goodreads.

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Blog Stop + Book Review for ‘Not Pretty Enough’ by Jaimie Admans.

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Not Pretty Enough by Jaimie Admans
Genre: Contemporary, YA, Comedy
Release Date: August 1, 2013
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SYNPOSIS
“New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Lloyd Layton will know I exist. He once said three whole words to me, so this is obviously progress. If I don’t get a proper conversation out of him soon, then I’ll take my top off and streak through the cafeteria, because nobody could fail to notice these boobs.
2. I will not get expelled for streaking through the cafeteria.”
Those are the words that begin her mission.
Chessie is fourteen, not pretty enough, and very much in love. Lloyd Layton is hot, popular, and unaware of Chessie’s existence.
Her goal is clear: to get Lloyd to love her as much as she loves him, and she has exactly one year to do it.
As Chessie’s obsession with Lloyd reaches boiling point and she starts to spin a web of lies that spiral out of control, Lloyd turns out to be not quite the prince she thought he was. Can Chessie avoid the gathering storm before things go too far?
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Not Pretty Enough is a contemporary young adult comedy suitable for ages thirteen and over.
 

Book two in the series will be released early 2014.

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I’ve been in this school for two and a half years now. I’ve had this teacher – Mr Edmond – for a year and a half of them, and he has not yet realised that I am not interested in geography. In fact, the only thing even mildly interesting in this classroom is the fact that Lloyd Layton is in it.

I don’t know if it’s because my seat is directly opposite the teacher’s desk, or if it’s because he just doesn’t like me, but he loves to do quick fire questions, usually before you’ve even settled at your desk and got your books out. I’m always the first one he picks, and it’s always some rubbish about the Earth’s core or volcanoes that erupted fifty years ago. I never get it right, and I think Mr Edmond thinks I’m teasing him by pretending to be stupid when the truth is that I can just about find my way home from the bus stop.

“Miss Clemenfield,” Mr Edmond begins just as we are settling down in our chairs. “The population of Japan is?”

“Um…”

“Wrong. The population of Japan is not um. It is in fact…” He stops and stares at me for a moment. “Francesca, are you okay?”

I look up. “Yes, thank you. Yourself?”

“No, your face. It’s all red.”

“I had to run down from my last class. Mr Griffiths kept us behind.” I nod emphatically. Okay, so I’m seriously unfit. Why don’t you point it out to the whole class and have Lloyd Layton turning to look at my red, sweaty self, panting due to a short run from the maths block?

“If you’d like to go and get a glass of water from the fountain, you’re welcome to go now before the lesson begins.”

“I’m good, thanks.”

He walks away and starts the quick fire questions down the other end of the room.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Ceri, who sits on one side of me, asks.

“You know, you do look a bit red and blotchy, Chess,” Ewan says from the seat on my other side.

“All right, I’m unfit,” I snap. “Why don’t you just announce that I’m a fat cow during school assembly and be done with it?”

“Sorry.” He holds his hands up and starts intently reading his textbook.

Leigh leans across from where she sits a few chairs down. “Don’t worry, Chessie,” she says with a sickly sweet smile that’s as fake as plastic flowers. “I suffer from PMT too. Do you want me to ask for a tampon for you?”

“At least mine’s not permanent,” I snap at her.

After ten minutes or so goes by, the teacher is about to fire another dumb question when he stops in his tracks and stares at me.

“You know, Francesca, I really think you ought to go and see the nurse.”

God, won’t anyone just leave me alone today?

“It’s Chessie, please.” I grab my bag from the floor and dig around in it until I find my compact mirror. “Is there something wrong with the lighting in this class or something today, Mr Edmond? Because I’m absolutely fi—”

Oh God. My face is all red and blotchy. It’s like I’ve come out in some sort of a rash. Crikey, no wonder the teacher was worried about me.

“Sorry,” I say quickly.

“Ewan, Ceri,” Mr Edmond addresses them. “Could you two move your chairs away a little bit, just in case it’s contagious. If everybody could just shift down a little.”

Contagious. Contagious? He thinks I’m contagious? And he’s just announced it to the rest of the class, and suddenly thirty pairs of eyes are peering at me and talking amongst themselves.

Crap.

Couldn’t he just have said something to me quietly, without making the entire class think I have the bubonic plague? That’s just great, isn’t it? Now Lloyd will never look twice at me because I’m like a walking wart. A giant walking wart that is contagious.

Although, perhaps a more pressing matter is what on earth is wrong with me. Why is my face all rash-like? I look like I’ve been sleeping in a nest of stinging nettles.

“I think you should go to the nurse, Chessie.” Mr Edmond puts unnecessary emphasis on my name.

“Yes, thank you.”

I grab my bag and rush out the door, grateful to be able to walk away from the staring eyes.


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Book Review ~ ‘Not Pretty Enough’ by Jaimie Admans ~ 5 Stars!

I always love losing myself in a young adult story. Whilst I’d be horrified at the thought of ever having to go back through that mortifying and confidence shattering time in my life, reading of the woes of a teenager at that age is one of my guilty pleasures and I adored ‘Not Pretty Enough’ for its realistic yet hilarious storyline.

As I started reading ‘Not Pretty Enough’ it wasn’t long before I was sighing with relief and thinking ‘Finally! A young adult book that is actually relatable to young adults!’ The daily trials that young Chessie’s faces in her quest to get the attention (and affection) of popular and dishy Lloyd, were a wonderful mix of humour and that second hand sympathy and embarassment you feel for Chessie that I think many readers will remember feeling all too often when they watched their own friends attempts at guy-catching in their teen years. This is something that always love in Jaimie Admans books. Because we join the characters through their journey, and see first hand the flaws they have we then suffer along with them when consequences of their actions hit. I love how there is no false description is made of heroine Chessie and how well her thoughts and actions were so true to that of a teenage girl.

When I was a teenager I remember finding it hard to relate to some of the characters in young adult fiction as the thought processes and actions of the characters were so mature and grown up. Chessie was a wonderful example of a real, teenage girl, flaws and all. Not every teenage crush gets a happy, fairytale ending, and this book was perfect in how it portrayed this chapter of Chessie’s life.

‘Not Pretty Enough’ also raised some important issues that I think are hugley important for teenagers to remember in today’s society. The seriousness of issues like child abuse and how unfounded accusations can be dangerous not only to the child but also to a parent, was very well portrayed, and I admire the way that Jaimie Admans was able to put this issue across without detracting from the main storyline.

A brilliant book that had me laughing out loud and reminiscing of my own school years. A realistic portrayal of a teenagers daily troubles that will be a perfect read for young adults!


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Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~



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Jaimie is a 28-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps. She has been writing for years but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. Not Pretty Enough is her fourth novel and she hopes you enjoy it. There are plenty more on the way!


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Three Year Anniversary Tour for ‘The Boots My Mother Gave Me’ by Brooklyn James.

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The Boots My Mother Gave Me by Brooklyn James
(The Boots My Mother Gave Me #1)
Genres: Romance, Contemporary

Brooklyn James is an author/singer/songwriter inspired by life in the Live Music Capital of Austin, Texas. This year marks the Three Year Anniversary of her first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me. In celebration, her camp has re-released the Anniversary Edition with a new cover (as chosen by a fan) and a new epilogue, setting up the anticipated sequel.

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SYNOPSIS

‘Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk through life in someone else’s shoes?

Strong-willed tomboy Harley LeBeau puts you in the boots her mother gave her, as she takes you along her journey of escape from an abusive childhood and the desire to find herself as she comes of age. Made to feel a burden to her father simply by her gender, Harley is determined to prove her worth and independence, leaving the small town she grew up in and the one boy who gave her a soft place to fall, Jeremiah Johnson. Torn between saving herself and abandoning her mother and younger sister, Harley chooses her own life in hopes they will choose theirs, too.

A mature, candid read for everyone. A must for women. The Boots My Mother Gave Me explores the dynamics of abuse and dysfunction, the courage to overcome, the strength in sisterhood, and the ongoing conflict and unconditional love between mothers and daughters. Climb into Charlene the Chevelle for a fast-paced story about a girl who is tough enough to survive and tender enough to learn to trust in love.’

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A stunning, emotional rollercoaster of a journey, ‘The Boots My Mother Gave Me’ is up there as one of my top reads for 2013.

There was something about Brooklyn James’ writing style which grabbed me from the word go. I was yanked into the beautifully written and heartbreakingly realistic storyline which managed to crush my heart into a million pieces in between laughing and smiling as I witnessed the most beautiful and loving of relationships being forged and the winning of battles that characters had been fighting for so long.

The picture that Brooklyn James created of a small community was spectacularly done. Everyone knows everyone elses business, and if you are lucky enough to escape the trap of the town you grew up in, you can never truly leave it behind as the ties that you made always pull you back. It was one of the reasons that I loved and admired Jeremiah as a character so much. He knew everything about our heroine Harley, he knew of the struggles of her past and understood and despite knowing he would lose her, he still encouraged her in her desire to escape and see the world.

It was such a refreshing change to see a hero of a story let the heroine make her own way, and make her own mistakes. I loved that he didn’t try to stop her from leaving him behind so many times, and that even though it broke his heart, he knew that she had to find and love herself before she would be able to accept his love.

Now, that is my kind of hero *swoons*.

Being able to witness every part of Harley’s journey of self-discovery really helped me connect to Harley, and see her not only as a charater who I hoped would have a happy ending, but as a real person, with real issues and insecurities. The mistakes she made and the relationships she forged weren’t skirted over, which I loved! As a hopeless romantic, it tore at my heart to see Harley in relationships with men who weren’t Jeremiah, but although this had me clutching at my chest in fits of sobs, it was seeing Harley’s journey in such detail that made me appreciate the ending all the more. It was truly a case of ‘good things come to those who wait.’

The continued emphasis on the importance of family in this book was a very heartwarming message. I adored Harley’s relationship with her younger sister Kat, and how no matter what she is doing, Harley would always drop everything to return to her mother and sister’s side in their time of need, even when it came at a cost to Harley. That is the pure strength and devotion of family, and especially in a lot of recent new-adult fiction, the focus on the main romance tends to overshadow the importance of familial ties, so I was delighted to see that this wasn’t the case with this book. This story was realistic and poignant reminding us that romantic love isn’t the only love that exists.

Brooklyn James’ writing was phenomenal and I loved how fleshed out the secondary characters such as Cassidy were, and how the issue of abuse isn’t always as black or white as it is in some cases. I really admired how Harley’s abusive father was portrayed as a flawed human who craves forgiveneness, rather than as a faceless manipulator. I really disliked Harley’s father, and never condone abuse in any form, but the way that this storyline flowed is a reminder that whilst to most abuse is simply wrong, to people like Harley the abuser is still their father, and nothing can change blood.

This was a stunning story which tore me to shreds, and I recommend having a box of tissues at hand when you read this.

Superb book and most definitely recommended!

5 fabulous stars!


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As a special thank you to her fans, Brooklyn is offering e-copies of The Boots My Mother Gave Me for the special limited price of $1.99 at Amazon.com and £1.28 at Amazon.co.uk.


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The Boots My Mother Gave Me was chosen as a Quarter Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, and has ranked in Kindle’s Top 100 Coming of Age and Women’s Fiction. Accolades for the book include a host of radio and television appearances, book signings, live music events, televised public readings and a music video release of the title track ‘Can’t Get It Right’ from the original music soundtrack to the novel, viewable on YouTube.

“Brooklyn James’ soundtrack to her novel The Boots My Mother Gave Me does more than give a clever feminist twist to the title. Her songs serve as chapters themselves, underlining James’ deft ability as a storyteller and songwriter.” – Margaret Moser, The Austin Chronicle.

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Like what you hear?

Brooklyn’s new album Jolie Blonde is out now and is set to accompany her upcoming novel of the same name, due for release mid-October. Click here to listen to a sample and pre-order.

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Her music can be found on Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, Pandora and Jango online Radio. She enjoys airplay from American Independent radio stations as well as in Australia, South of France, Netherlands and the UK. Her song ‘Can’t Get It Right’ was chosen for MEOW’s (Musicians for Equal Opportunity for Women) 2012 Discoveries Jukebox, naming Brooklyn among the top 15 female singer/songwriters on the rise. Jango Radio named track two, ‘Moving On,’ off the same album to their Top 10 Songs of Summer. All songs from the soundtracks are written/co-written and performed by the author, and are produced and recorded at Wonderland Studios, Austin, Texas. Listen free on Brooklyn’s Website or Facebook.


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Win 1 of 3 Anniversary eCopies!

Entry via Rafflecopter. Giveaway closes October 8 2013.

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  Win 1 of 2 The Boots My Mother Gave Me Soundtracks

Entry via Rafflecopter. Giveaway close October 8 2013.

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DFW Romance Book Sign

Brooklyn James

Brooklyn holds an M.A. in Communication, and a B.S. in both Nursing and Animal Science. Her nursing career has seen specialties in the areas of Intensive Care and Labor & Delivery/Postpartum, which she’s hoping will come in handy as she and her handsome hubby (the inspiration behind Jeremiah Johnson from The Boots My Mother Gave Me) are expecting their first child this Christmas. You can read about such experiences on Brooklyn’s Blog, if you fancy.

A self-professed Jack-of-all-trades, she has enjoyed careers in massage therapy, personal training, teaching, day labor at a cattle company (doing everything on horseback, the old-fashioned ‘cowboy’ way), radio DJ, TV news writer and reporter, waitress, bartender, even amateur actor. To date, her most fun experiences in front of the camera have been starring in a Weezer video, being a ‘stand-in’ for Mira Sorvino on the set of TNT’s Trooper, and as background in When Angels Sing with Harry Connick Jr. Brooklyn says he couldn’t have been more of a gentleman and oh so swoon-worthy!

She takes great pleasure in performing as part of an acoustic duo in the local live music scene in Austin. Got a little video here from a set at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Her hobbies include, spending time with family and friends, dancing until her feet are sore, weight lifting, running, paddleboarding (anything outdoors really), reading, watching The Big Bang Theory and anything on The History Channel, partaking of a good cup of Joe and trying out new and local food fare. Brooklyn also serves as a guest speaker from time to time with a focus on awareness and prevention of domestic violence and suicide, a cause near and dear to her heart.

Thank you so much for being so kind to take the time to check out my blog hop! Light & Love – Brooklyn James.


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If you’re still hankering after the first book, with original story and cover, it’s still available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Boots My Mother Gave Me


Book Review ~ ‘Sisters in Love (Snow Sisters #1)’ by Melissa Foster!

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Sisters in Love by Melissa Foster
(Snow Sisters #1; Love in Bloom #1)
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sisters in Love (Snow Sisters #1) by Melissa Foster


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SYNOPSIS

Danica Snow has always been the smart, practical, and appropriate sister. As a therapist, she prides herself on making reasonable, conservative choices, even if a bit boring, and as part of the Big Sister Program, she has little time for anything more in her life.

Blake Carter is a player. He never gets bored of conquering women, and with his sexy good looks and successful lifestyle, he has no trouble finding willing participants. When his friend and business partner dies in a tragic accident, he suddenly, desperately, wants to change his ways. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to stop doing what he does best.

When Blake walks into Danica’s office, the attraction between them is white hot, but Danica isn’t the type to give into the heat and risk her career. Danica’s desire sets her on a path of self-discovery, where she begins to question every decision she’s ever made. Just this once, Danica wants to indulge in the pleasures of life she’s been so willingly ignoring, but with her Little Sister in turmoil and her biological sister’s promiscuousness weighing heavily on her heart, she isn’t sure it’s the right time to set her desires free.

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I was given an ARC of ‘Sisters in Love’ in exchange for an honest review.

‘Sisters in Love’ arrived to me just when I needed it. Alone in the house and feeling a bit lonely, I was in desperate need of a good distraction. ‘Sisters in Love’ was the perfect book!

I connected straight away to the characters and absolutely loved Melissa Foster’s writing style. Her descriptions of the busy tourist town and the annoyance of the people who live there at the disruption to their morning coffee collection routine was great and made me as a reader nod along at the realistic day-to-day annoyances we all face (especially now that I have just started working in a coffee shop, so see the annoyance on people’s faces when I am taking too long learning the till and they tap their feet at me impatiently!)

One of the lead females Danika was a real breath of fresh air, and really easy to relate to. I loved how close she was to her sister and how she let her make her own choices even when she had her own opinions. It was great to see her give Kaylie unprejudiced, therapeutic advice just as she would to her patients. It also gave me a real sense of sadness to see how brilliantly Danika was at giving other people sound advice, yet she struggles with taking the same advice herself.

Blake was a great character and one of my favourite things about this book was following his journey of self-discovery and his development as both a friend and a man. The pacing of the novel was perfect, without making the storyline, or the formation of characters and relationships seeming too rushed or too slow.

Melissa Foster’s writing style really spoke to me, as it holds a realistic tone, and accepts the day-to-day troubles people have to go through as a given part of life. I loved the developments that the characters go through and I really enjoyed reading the start to their story, and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

5 Stars and a definite recommended read!


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Melissa Foster

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