Friday, May 4, 2012

Welcome, Brooklyn James

What Happens When Life Imitates Art?

Thanks to Roseanne, I am stopping by today to guest blog about my new book release…Vigilare: Hell Hound. Book #2 in the thriller suspense trilogy, Vigilare.

If you will, allow me to diverge momentarily. I find myself at a surreal fork in my road, and would like to share my conundrum, opening it up for comments, discussion, even advice.

My first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me (An Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarter Finalist), is a coming of age Dysfiction about a young girl who triumphs over an abusive childhood, redefining herself as she comes of age. In this mature, candid novel, we explore 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. My favorite scenes from the book are those that highlight the underlying love story between our lead female, Harley LeBeau and her childhood friend, Jeremiah Johnson. In writing Jeremiah Johnson, I did what any good novelist would do: I wrote the roadmap to my Mr. Right. In doing so, I pulled inspiration for Miah (that’s what Harley calls him) from a male subject at my local gym. I did not know said male subject at the time I was writing my novel. I did not care to. About a year later, we’re both working on the mats (he’s stretching, I’m doing push-ups). He strikes up a conversation with me, which I am ultimately disappointed with, because I figure he’s going to ruin the image, or persona, rather, that I assigned him in my scribing of Jeremiah Johnson. Well, he surprised me. Guess that will happen from time to time. We started running together at our local town-lake trail last year. One thing led to another, and I find myself not only in the boots my mother gave me, but in the boots of my lead character, Harley LeBeau.

Growing up with an abusive father, Harley LeBeau is determined to prove her self-worth and independence. Far be it from her to succumb to statistics. She ventures off in life with hopes of defining herself as a successful woman, whose success is not tied up in marriage or a man. She’s not a big fan of the ‘American Dream’…find your soul mate, get married, buy a house with a white-picket fence, have two kids and a dog. In her experience with that scenario in her childhood, the bottom always fell out. It couldn’t be possible to find someone to spend the rest of her life with, and be truly content. Harley LeBeau was meant for something more. You could say Harley LeBeau and I have a lot in common. As Canadian Novelist, Robertson Davies said, “To ask an author who hopes to be a serious writer if his work is autobiographical is like asking a spider where he buys his thread. The spider gets his thread right out of his own guts, and that is where the author gets his writing."

Harley leaves her small hometown, and Miah, after high school graduation. Throughout the book, they meet up occasionally, as happenstance would have it. Miah knows Harley better than she knows herself. He simply has to wait until she figures that out, too. By the end of The Boots My Mother Gave Me, Harley finally figures it out: “Sometimes the life you end up living is simply better than the one you pictured yourself in.”

Which brings me to my conundrum. This male subject in my life seemingly knows me better than I know myself. Over the course of the past year, he has said things to me that Miah said to Harley, almost verbatim. Those were my words. How could he know exactly what to say? And, no, he has not read the book. He’s not much of a reader, although, I’m breaking him in gently. It’s like he has his own roadmap to navigating Brooklyn. I’m dumbfounded. I mean, I cannot think of him without smiling. I imagine a life with him I never saw myself in. I look at him and I think, ‘I want to have his babies.’ How does this happen? I’ve never had those thoughts before. I know I should be thanking my lucky stars to have found someone who seemingly is my other half. However, I’m supposed to be the free-spirited, author/singer/songwriter, who believes in love and thinks the premise is great, but doesn’t necessarily believe that it’s hers to have. Is love trustworthy? Or, will the bottom ultimately fall out? My girlfriend says I wrote him to me. That my ending the book the way I did was a testament of my true heart. I mean, really? Come on, what are the chances he was my muse before I even knew him, and that a year later we would come to know one another, and one more year after that we would be where we are right now? Stuff like that doesn’t happen in real life, right? That’s why I write novels, because I can make stuff like that happen! 

If your life has ever imitated art, especially your art, please share with me your experience, so maybe I can believe that things like this can really happen…to me.

The Boots My Mother Gave Me has an original music soundtrack to accompany the novel. All songs written/co-written and performed by yours truly. If you would like to listen to music clips, visit my website @ or my MusicStore on Facebook @
Books available on my website or Amazon @ Kindle version is on special for $2.99 to celebrate Vigilare: Hell Hound Release!

"A marvelous piece of fiction with fully realized characters who are unique and believable. James has demonstrated a literary skill that shows polish and panache. The book is original, beautifully crafted, and brilliantly written. The reader really wants to know where the story is going." -Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Expert Panelist

"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

Which finally brings us to the current order of the day…Vigilare: Hell Hound Release!
I’ll keep it short since I have requested much of your time already.

Vigilare: Hell Hound is the second book in the thriller suspense trilogy…Vigilare. It will release on ebook May 1st, and in print June 1st.

"From the get-go, James manages to create a fast-paced thriller that's
gripping and interesting while avoiding the cliches of the genre. Vigilare walks the line between a thriller and a supernatural adventure while safely anchored in a scientific discourse around blood that James put together so well that it's reminiscent of a Douglas Preston or Michael Chrichton novel. With action, romance, a strong female hero and a likeable group of characters, Vigilare reads like a good action movie." -Gabino Iglesias, Austin Post

For Full Review Go To:

For a full description of the new release, Vigilare: Hell Hound, please visit my website @
To purchase Vigilare…the first in the trilogy. Plenty of time to read that before June 1! For a signed copy, visit my website @ For Amazon & Kindle purchases, go to Kindle version is on special for $2.99 to celebrate Vigilare: Hell Hound Release!

Anyone who may be interested in a free copy of Vigilare, stop by my Facebook @ ‘Like’ us and comment that you saw us on Roseanne Dowell’s blog. We’ll take all of those entries and draw a random winner. Thank you so much for hosting me today Roseanne!

To read my other ramblings visit my blog @

Brooklyn James is an author/singer/songwriter inspired by life in the Live Music Capital of Austin, Texas. Her first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, has an original music soundtrack and was chosen as a Quarter Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. Brooklyn holds an M.A. in Communication, and a B.S. in both Nursing and Animal Science. The Vigilare trilogy is an adaptation from a short narrative film. She is currently working on the last novel in the series, as well as another book and music soundtrack combination. All songs from the soundtracks are written/co-written and performed by the author.


Brooklyn James said...

Thanks for hosting me today Roseanne! I'll be checking in throughout the day if anyone may have questions/comments or general direction :) Great Friday to all!

Roseanne Dowell said...

It was a pleasure having you. Sometimes people visit the blog, but they don't always leave comments.

Penny's Tales said...

wow Brooklyn....congratulations on all your successes - Very impressive and your books sound so good!

Roseanne - Is this a new site? Nice!

Brooklyn James said...

Thank you Penny! And yes Roseanne's site looks great! A happy, relaxing weekend to you and yours.

Karen Cote said...

What a pleasure to meet you Brooklyn! Your talents are quite diverse and fascinating.

Ro - thank you for introducing Brooklyn. I'm heading over to "like" her Facebook page now.

Brooklyn James said...

Thank you Karen! Saw you on my Facebook. Adding your name to the giveaway! If you have a preference of the two books, let me know. I know it says Vigilare giveaway, but if you think you would enjoy Boots more, I'm flexible :)