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.’
*****5 Heart Breaking, Tear Dripping, , Inspiring, Emotional, Amazing, Beautiful, Phenomenal, Sweet-Miah-Loving & Bootalious Stars!!!!
“People say you shouldn’t judge others until you have walked in their shoes. Here I stood, literally in my mother’s shoes. A part of me was curious how she walked through life and found herself in present. The other part remained frightened, should I ever find myself on the same path” ~ Harley
“It’s amazing, really, how the good in people can virtually cause us to ignore the bad, as we nurture the perpetual desire within each of us to believe in the humanity in the ones we love.” ~ Harley
“Within each of us, there lies the innate ability to survive, triumph, and overcome, rewriting the scripts of our own lives, having some power over our fate and the fate of generations to come. Nothing has to be just because that’s the way it’s always been.” ~ Harley
This book has been on my To-Be Read list on Goodreads since Jan 27th, 2013. Too many good reads and too little time if you get my gist. When my book blog gave me a list of books to pick from and this was on it, no persuasion needed here, this book was so MINE. I was destined to read this and was actually glad I didn’t read it sooner because there’s one very important chapter in this anniversary copy “Epilogue” (smirking).
I was an emotional mess while reading this book. I was full on bawling. I’m serious my eyes was so swollen, I can barely see anything and I had to be at work. This book affected me in a way that I would never have expected. My sisters and I were brought up in a loving and very conservative home. My parents loves us. Though my dad did hope for a son, he never did instead he got four loving daughters. I never knew of any parent would behave like the one in this book. I was shocked and hate to believe that any human would treat another human especially their own flesh and blood this brutally. In honesty, I know in the society we live in, it’s very real.
This book dealt with all topics we hear once too often from domestic abuse, violence, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, alcohol abuse, suicide and forgiveness. But what is a book without love, right? Pure selfless love. The story is simply irresistible, powerful, inspiring and emotionally satisfying mainly highlighting a young girl’s journey to discover that one special thing she was born to do. There is full of heartache and pain yet still do not fail to give us hopes and love throughout. Make sure you have a shit load of tissues when you’re ready to ride this emotional and beautiful journey about a pair of boots and a girl name Harley.
This story was told from Harley’s point of view through a span of 15 years give or take from my calculation. Harley Lebeau was born and raised in a small town in Georgia, Pennsylvania. She grew up with both parents and her sister Katrina aka Kat on a farm. By no means they live lavishly. Their main source of income was generated through the farm which was not always enough so Harley’s mom Marilyn had to work at a local diner to bring in extra dough to support the family.
The family or should I say mostly one person contributed to the complete dysfunctional upbringing and tumultuously life of Harley and Kat. Their dad, John was a Vietnam veteran. As we all know too well how the Vietnam War affected these veterans in a very negative way and John was no exception. Many came back home to find that they will live the reminder of their life with the fear of developing a disease and many bore psychological scars. They become bitter and had a hard time readjusting to society. John became an abusive alcoholic father. I find John’s abusive behavior repulsive, despicable and vile. Raised in a home with a hateful mother and topped it off with post-traumatic stress disorder from the war, he’s basically a lit fuse waiting to explode which he did. John’s not evil from my point of view. He just has some serious issues that he refused to acknowledge. Yes, I know the war did a number to him and by all means, I’m no heartless bitch but no way in hell he should be casting those anger onto his loved ones. For fuck sake, seek help!! How about the mom you ask? Parents are supposed to protect their children and yes I totally agree but not in this case. Marilyn, the mom was no help in this situation, she was practically a doormat.
“You want a piece of the old man? You’ve been nothing but trouble from the goddamn day you were born. Always causing problems between your mother and me. You’re the goddamn reason we can’t get along.” ~ John
“You can’t drop the charges. He should be in jail or worse for what he did to you. What did she say about the bruises and scratches all over you? Did she see those?” ~ Jeremiah
As for most families, you never air your dirty laundry. Harley kept the issues at home hidden until one faithful night after a basketball game and everything changes. At seventeen, she was kicked out of her own home which is actually a blessing. Fortunately for Harley, she has lucky stars shining upon her and she’s resilient. Benny Goodman, owner of Benny’s Automotive that she worked for as a gopher since fourteen offered her the apartment above his garage for fifty dollars a month, with stipulations she stay in school with good grades. Where can I find a deal like this? Someone hook me up please!
As early as Harley can remember, she dreamed of getting out of the town she grew up in so finally this day came. The day after graduation from high school, wearing the boots her mother gave her, packed up and stuff all she could into Charlene the 1970 Chevelle SS 396 she restored, drove off and never looked back or coming back. So she thought right? No such luck. Theres’s so much to this story that you really need to read it. I’m not kidding!!
For the next 10 years or so, Harley will travel across America with the mission to find the one thing she was born to do. She’s such a free spirited person. I wish I could be like her. When she know that place can no longer offer her what she’s looking for, she’ll just pack up and leave and move on to find her next piece of haven to continue searching for her true calling.
What is a romance novel without a swoon worthy male character? Jeremiah Johnson aka Miah is THE guy. OMG! This guy is a saint. He is strikingly handsome with captivating dark brown eyes, long, lean and chiseled body, Captain of the football team, a heart of gold, patient and oh so loving. He’s Harley’s best friend since they were four years old. He’s her protector, her lover, her safe haven, her confidant, her soul mate. They shared most of their first–first friend, first bike ride, first loose tooth even their first kiss. Their endearing relationship, unconditional and special friendship during the good and bad times throughout the book are my favorite parts of this story. It was so obvious that they both have undeniable and palpable feelings for each other but due to all the turmoils and fears Harley had harbored throughout her life, she avoids any sort of romantic commitments with Miah though they do have amazing sexual encounters. The two souls were meant to be together, with some understanding and patience, I eventually got my HEA but not without any angst and frustration for sure. Many times, I wanted to crawl into the book and shake Harley so hard that she’ll realize that what she’s looking for is right in from of her. Her happiness is Miah. Without MIah, she’s empty.
“This man – he was my friend, my love, my muse, my hero. The world could have ended that night, and I would have perished completely and utterly fulfilled.” ~ Harley
“God had mold me for him, and him for me, and put us together from the time we were four years old. Why would I think I was made for anything else?” ~ Harley
“When I’m with you…in the still, dark loneliness of the night…when my mind has all the time in the world to play tricks on me, I am completely unaffected. At the end of the day, in the nearness that is you, all is right with the world. It could literally end, and I would be okay. As long as I’m with you.” ~ Harley
I absolutely adore Harley’s sassy little sister Kat even though she did make some really horrid choices. She had to battle her own issues too when it comes to her dad and her pregnancy as a teenager. She’s a firecracker though and after all things bad happened, she learned a valued lesson and evolved into an amazing person and loving mother. Their sisterly bond is amazingly strong and they watch out for each other. One of my favorite scene in this book involves Kat, an authentic wooden Louisville Slugger, a Mercedes and a badass Harley. Because of this, Harley has become my third favorite book heroine. Want to know what happened? Guess getting the book is the solution, isn’t it?
Brooklyn James sure can write a hell of a magnificent story that’s all I can say. This was an amazing read. I loved every aspect of the book. The writing was truly flawless. Such a wonderful, amazing and beautiful story. Though it did tugged at my heart so badly to see Miah and Harley taking so many years to finally be together. So many years wasted in my opinion but for Harley, guess it was necessary to her to truly come to terms with the fear and turmoils she has to finally be able to offer herself, her heart and love Miah completely without any barriers. I may not have grown up in an abusive environment yet I connected with Harley. I feel her pain, her joy, her fears and her passion. My heart truly goes out to those who has grown up in an abusive and dysfunctional home. This is such an amazing book that it will forever stay close to my heart. I hope after reading my review, our bloggers will feel the same and decide to read it. If you all do, you will not regret it. This is one journey that you will be glad to be on. I PROMISE!! **Lady H
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.
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