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.
‘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.’
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!
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.
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.
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.
Win 1 of 3 Anniversary eCopies!
Entry via Rafflecopter. Giveaway closes October 8 2013.
Win 1 of 2 The Boots My Mother Gave Me Soundtracks
Entry via Rafflecopter. Giveaway close October 8 2013.
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.