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.
You can grab yourself a copy via Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
The Boots My Mother Gave Me – Brooklyn James
What they say:
‘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.’
Life Imitating Art
Guest Post by Brooklyn James
I can’t believe it’s been three years since the release of the my first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me. Inspired by life’s true story, this dysfiction follows a young Harley LeBeau as she comes of age while overcoming an abusive childhood.
What started out as a bit of creative therapy for me, resulted in an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award when The Boots My Mother Gave Me was chosen as a Quarter Finalist. A few of the adjectives from editorial and reader reviews included, “real, raw, emotional, poignant, eloquently written, beautiful and empowering.”
It was difficult to contain my excitement when readers fell in love with Harley and Miah (her childhood best friend and first love). Miah is simply delicious, I think! Harley, on the other hand, is not always easy to love, so I was a bit surprised when readers related to her so well. She’s honest and flawed, and I think that’s why readers connected with Harley, because they believed her. Anyhow, as a result of favorable book blog and reader reviews, The Boots My Mother Gave Me ended up on Kindle’s Top 100 Coming of Age and Women’s Fiction categories for some time.
It wasn’t long until readers started asking about a sequel. A sequel? A rather humbling experience for an aspiring author, I wasn’t sure I had another book in me, let alone a sequel to what I considered a stand alone novel that was truly cathartic and quite difficult to write at times.
For me, the book had come full circle. Art had imitated life and my life was just beginning to imitate my art, ironically enough. Strange how the universe does that when one discloses their deepest, maybe even most shocking desires.
With a little persuading, I continued to chew over a sequel. How fantastic if I could write my future into reality! But rather than using Harley and Miah as the leads again in the sequel, I decided Kat (Katrina or Kit-Kat as Miah calls her) — Harley’s younger sister had a story to tell and an HEA to claim.
The Boots My Mother Gave Me (Anniversary Edition) shares a new cover and a new epilogue, setting up a sequel that will feature Kat as the lead female. As for her leading male, I suspect there may be a few in the hunt, as Kat does have a wildly playful streak. And being a single mother of a now teenaged daughter, she treads lightly where serious relationships are concerned.
Fans of Harley and Miah need not be disappointed, as they will be formidable secondary characters in the sequel with an entirely new set of obstacles to overcome. You see, Harley’s music career takes them to Nashville where she will supersede a very alpha Miah as primary breadwinner. With her career taking off and the domestic duties shifting, they will not be without their own breakups and makeups.
I must say, once I got into drafting the new epilogue for the anniversary edition, I quite enjoyed developing Harley and Miah’s futures, as well as Kat’s, beyond the original novel. I’m one of those, ‘when it’s over, it’s over’ types. I don’t read a lot of series-esque books. I love sitting down with one complete novel and turning pages until I am left with that satisfied end feeling of ‘what a great story.’
However, I always welcome opportunities to grow as a writer. And I am thankful to fans of the original novel who requested a sequel for that inspiration and opportunity. As I was writing the epilogue, setting things up for Kat’s sequel, an entirely new set of plot points and characters began to emerge in my mind. And I forgot how much I love Kat; how integral she was to the original novel, even as a secondary character. Her spunk, her wit, her zest for life—even in the face of adversity—her spirit never wavers. She’s that girl who believes in everything when she has no reason to believe in anything at all, really. Now that’s a character who can win readers’ hearts, especially once she triumphs.
Needless to say, the new epilogue has my cogwheels turning. How do I tie the symbolism of the boots from the original novel into the sequel? What type of guy does Kat go for? Is it the guy she meets at Harley and Miah’s Nashville home in the new epilogue? Or does that slimy worm of a sperm donator (her ex, Joey Harper) try to weasel his way back into her life? How far do I go with Miah and Harley and their relationship challenges? Just to the edge or past the point of no return? Something completely life changing?
The one thing I love about staring at a blank page on my computer screen is that the possibilities are endless!
I hope you enjoy the new cover and the new epilogue as much as I have enjoyed getting excited about this story and its characters yet again. Keep your eyes peeled for the sequel, releasing late 2014!
Thank you so much for hosting me, Katie. And thank you readers for taking the time to allow me to introduce myself and my novel. Much Love – Brooklyn James
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. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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.
Stay in touch: