"Deep in my heart, I know there’s no promise I’ll be free from trouble in this life. In fact, I’m usually either getting out of trouble, currently in trouble, or about to meet trouble around the next corner."...... I hope you'll stick around for my "Lucille Ball/Gracie Allen" adventures. It promises to be a wild ride.
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.
Signed Paperback & Original Music Soundtrack to The Boots My Mother Gave Me can be found at www.brooklyn-james.com
Guest Post by Brooklyn James:
First, let me say, I am delighted to be guesting with Donna today. Donna and I have become blog buddies through my efforts as an author/singer/songwriter. The Boots My Mother Gave Mewas my first published book. Lo and behold, it won an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award as a Quarter Finalist in 2011. The novel was inspired by a true story, following the coming of age tale of a young girl, Harley LeBeau, as she overcomes an abusive childhood. One flattering review likened the piece to Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.
This book is a bit unique in that it offers an original music soundtrack to accompany the novel. Being a singer/songwriter in the local live music scene of Austin, Texas, it made perfect sense to me. Movies come standard with music soundtracks, why not a book?
The book and its soundtrack were both ‘heart’ projects for me in rewriting the script of my own life, overcoming an abusive childhood. I believe within each of us, there lies the innate ability to survive, triumph, and overcome…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.
If I may share with you a video blog of a reading and musical performance from The Boots My Mother Gave Me. This video excerpt is from the Televised Public Forum here in Austin. This particular forum was dubbed, Creativity Is Therapy, utilizing the power of creativity and its therapeutic effect on the mind and the soul. It was through my own creativity that I came to terms with my childhood experiences. In this video, you will see a reading from the Chapter entitled, Live & Let Love, where Harley LeBeau reads her father’s suicide letter. The reading is followed by a live acoustic musical performance from the soundtrack to the book, featuring the song that shares the same title, Live & Let Love. For anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide: May you find peace among the chaos, light in the darkness and forgiveness in your heart.
I absolutely loved the book. Can you say that about a book that involves abuse? Setting that part of the storyline aside for a moment, the story was riveting.
I purchased the music and fell in love with the songs long before I opened the first page of the book. I had no idea at the time how the music would eventually intertwine with the story. As I read the book and came across each song, I turned on my iPod and listened to the music. The music added a dimension not found in book reading, allowing the reader to become even more immersed in the protagonists feelings at that moment in time.
Although not a memoir, the author writes the book in first person, giving the book creditability in the subject matter, abuse. Beyond the abuse, are the lessons Harley learns from the poignant gesture of her mother gifting her the boots that she and Harley’s father danced in, to the guitar that Harley’s father presented her with to write her music.
We follow Harley as she leaves the small town behind in search of herself. Repeatedly, she is drawn back to the small town that she craved to leave. Harley LeBeau lives hard, laughs hard, cries hard, and loves hard, as she learns life’s lessons about love, life, and the highway.
The book is well written, with complex characters, and boasts an inclusive story line, coming full-circle with a wonderful ending. Brooklyn James did an outstanding job of incorporating her personal story of abuse into the story of Harley LeBeau
The only thing I was disappointed with was finishing the book. I wanted to keep reading. I still have my music…
The Boots My Mother Gave Me is available on Amazon:
Brooklyn is running a limited special discount on the Kindle version beginning Sunday, September 15th-Saturday, September 21st for $1.99! If you read the original, this version has a new cover and a new epilogue!
KPI Records Singer/Songwriter, Brooklyn James, releases her sophomore album, Jolie Blonde. A combination of alternative country, folk and blues, this record is a satisfying mix of roots and contemporary. The pacing of the album from upbeat to laid back tracks is like a smooth road trip. The first single, Damsel In Distress, arguably the most contemporary track on the record is a fun, upbeat, tongue-in-cheek song that explores role play between men and women, and boasts the first official music video for the album. As per the title, there is a remake of the Cajun National Anthem, Jolie Blonde, where James and Eric McKinney of Wonderland Studios, Austin, Texas, put their own twist on the classic.
James' first music soundtrack and novel compilation was The Boots My Mother Gave Me, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter Finalist. "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