Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beautiful Singer, Writer, Avatar?

First, may I say, thank you for hosting me, Karen. I love the bungalow!

Now lets talk writing and ROMANCE...shall we?

A little bit about me: I'm Brooklyn James, an author/singer/songwriter inspired by life in the Live Music Capital of Austin, Texas. My 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. I'm active in the live music scene here in Austin as a member of an acoustic duo. We play weekly, anywhere from coffee bars to hole-in-the-walls to fine dining establishment, performing a hodge-podge of covers and original music, ranging from folk to pop. Check out my website or facebook for appearances/performances schedule. You can also hear my music on both of those websites. Come see us at a live show sometime!

I'm a hopeless romantic whose love life is quite stimulating currently. Yay! I love physical activity as much as the mental activity my mind enjoys while writing. You can find me running, kayaking or paddleboarding the lake any given day of the week. I'm an avid weight lifter, yoga-doer, novice martial artist and dancer 'til my feet are sore. I like testing my mechanical aptitude by working on cars, which comes in handy seeing how my aging beauty seems to require much attention these days.

And I'm a sucker for inspirational quotes, especially those from Native American Warriors. One of my faves: "It doesn’t matter how one was brought up. What determines the way one does anything is personal power. A man is only the sum of his personal power, and that sum determines how he lives and how he dies."

Oh, and I have a Master's in Communication and a Bachelor's in both Nursing and Animal Science.

My Writing Journey: I have written for as long as I can remember…songs, poetry, short stories, screenplays. However, I always thought it too fun to actually be successful. Really, how many of us are fortunate enough to make our vacation our vocation? So, I forged ahead with ‘Plan B.’ In the words of my mother, I “got an education, and a real job with a 401K and an insurance plan.” She couldn’t have been more proud…lol.

I have a few songwriting credits in Nashville, Los Angeles and Austin.

January 2010 rolled around and I had enough money to allocate to an album of my originals. At the same time, I made a New Year’s resolution to get rid of some excess baggage in providing my own Creative Therapy, by virtue of written expression. Apparently I needed the therapy.

At the end of January, I had written a one-hundred-thousand-word manuscript, my first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, a coming of age tale about a young girl who overcomes an abusive childhood.

We were in studio at the time with production of the album. Inspired in the same vein, I started to notice my song titles matched varying chapter titles within the book. It was then I decided I would combine the two, as they were created from a cohesive stream of consciousness. Movies have soundtracks, why not a book? “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

I sent my manuscript off to an editor, who believed I had a great story that could be successful. Her encouragement propelled me to submit my story to multiple agents, whereby yielding a passel of the ever infamous rejection letters.

Being DIY minded as a music artist, I thought, I’ll just do it on my own. The resources are there, why not? I self-published in November 2010 through Amazon’s Create Space. By March 2011, The Boots My Mother Gave Me slid into the Quarter Finalist position in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. That was the moment I thought, Maybe I really can write. The book and album continue to sell online, and in brick & mortar stores. It never ceases to amaze me how readers, and music lovers alike, will take a chance on an independent artist, allowing us to feel as though we are as valid as our mainstream counterparts. And this is where I say, thank you readers! You are, have always been, and will continue to be the true gatekeepers of the publishing world.

Due to my readership, I have been nonstop, since releasing two more books, book 1 (Vigilare) & 2 (Vigilare: Hell Hound) in the paranormal thriller trilogy, Vigilare. I have two more books in draft stages currently, along with production of a new music soundtrack to accompany those novels, one to be released fall 2012, the other spring 2013. That’s another great thing I love about readers, if they like your writing, they will transcend with you along genres. I have two genres I feel most comfortable writing, women’s fiction (chick lit/coming of age/contemporary romance) and thrillers (scientific and paranormal.

My books have one common thread: there’s always an underlying romance, and at least one super steamy scene. My editor's first commentary on my writing, "You sure do write great sex scenes!" I am of the belief for a book to be good it has to be romantic. What are we if not loving and wanting souls? Growing up, I would sneak my mother’s romance novels into my room, reading into the wee hours of the morning. Still makes me giggle. And don't act like you've never done

Thank you readers for inspiring and encouraging our stories! And thanks again Karen for giving me the opportunity to meet your viewers. Read on for book descriptions and links for where to find me. Happy reading and racing hearts to all!

Finding Brooklyn James:
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Author Central, Blog, Pandora, iTunes

My Books:

NEW RELEASE—Vigilare: Hell Hound, book #2 in Vigilare paranormal thriller trilogy.

A red hue emerges, where once it was only emerald green!

Now accepting of her position, Vigilare is propelled into a twist on Greek Mythology's Cerberus―Hell Hound―a rival Vigilare with fire capabilities. ETNA harbored her blood. Have they created a monster they cannot control? Along with her motley crew, the dashing Detective Tony Gronkowski, wily hematologist Dr. Godfrey and suspicious Emily Truly, Vigilare comes face to face with her past in the form of the hellish one.

As the city of New Orleans and its Gambini mafia family are under siege with Vigilare drones, the power hungry Emily wastes no time in solidifying her place in the ranks when she exposes Vigilare to the menacing Hell Hound. Newcomer, Maxim Kiesel, the steel blue-eyed prodigy graced with icy powers may very well be the antidote, or the ultimate traitor.

Will Vigilare give up her role, sacrificing her immortality to stop Hell Hound? The second in a trilogy, Vigilare: Hell Hound―when power is given, the true testament of one's character will rise.

“I'm not well versed in Greek Myth, but I enjoyed the spin. The paranormal aspect was vibrant and colorful. Very well crafted by the author, yet not too flamboyant to turn me off. As usual, James plays with contrasts. You have the Hell Hound with fire capabilities, whose favorite weapons are fireballs. And then, you have newcomer, Maxim Kiesel. He has "steel blue eyes" and an icy touch. Fire and ice! And of couse, Dr. Godfrey (the manic hematologist) is there to help the reader make sense of all the science and myth behind the Vigilare pedigree. It's fascinating really, the whole Rh-negative blood factor James weaves into the story. It is this factor that makes Vigilare super human. It makes so much sense, it leaves me wondering just exactly how unique is Rh-negative blood? Brooklyn James has done a fine job of tightly knitting a storyline and a cast of characters to peak and keep any reader's interest. With the combination of action, suspense, intrigue, romance (this is a very SEXY series), science and heart—Vigilare: Hell Hound is a fast, entertaining read.” –Amazon review

Vigilare, book #1 in Vigilare paranormal thriller trilogy.

Where one system fails, another never gives up!

Detectives Gina DeLuca and Tony Gronkowski investigate a string of murders among Vanguard's most loathsome population, rapists and pedophiles. With fed up citizens, the city is on the verge of a vigilante uprising in support of their seemingly superhuman Vigilare with the sparkling emerald green eyes. Friend or foe, Vanguard Police Department has a job to do in bringing the vigilant one to justice, causing their own internal battle with right and wrong, immoral and just. Following their leads, Detectives DeLuca and Gronkowski find themselves pulled into a mysterious world of super blood and super powers, and closer to the Vigilare than ever expected.

It's a race to the finish between Detectives DeLuca and Gronkowski and the Vigilare to figure out who she is and why. The first in a trilogy. Vigilare—the one who watches over—comes to light.

“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 Crichton novel. With action, romance, a strong female hero and a likable group of characters, Vigilare reads like a good action movie.” –Gabino Iglesias, Austin Post

The Boots My Mother Gave Me, book & original music soundtrack.


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.

“Not since Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett O' Hara have we seen a literary female of such strength, vulnerability, and complexity as Harley LeBeau. The Boots My Mother Gave Me is a powerful and emotional novel examining a young woman's journey to outrun her past, all the while burdened by the baggage of it. James navigates effortlessly through the rough terrain of her characters' complicated psychologies. If truth is beauty, then James has written the most beautiful of tales.” –Candice Adams, EditorMuse

"Very satisfying read. Up there with To Kill A Mockingbird!" -KOOP 91.1FM, David Kobierowski, A Neighborly Conversation

"This is a marvelous piece of fiction with fully realized characters who are unique and believable without being cliche. Each character resonates with emotion. The writer treats these characters with a depth and compassion that makes them and their predicament exciting and engaging. The writer has demonstarted a literary skill which shows polish and panache. When writing about the this type of disturbing subject matter, it is easy to overuse tired, meaningless and cliched expression. But the narrator's voice through the first person point-of-view is original, sensitive and genuine, bringing the reader closer to her and the situation we find her in. I definitely feel this novel can be successful." -Amazon Expert Reviewer for Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards

“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


Brooklyn James said...

Va-Va-Va-Avatar! Wow, sure know how to make a girl feel good :) If only I could "avatar" myself every This is such a fun blog. Thank you for the opportunity. Hugs!

Savannah Chase said...

Brooklyn, it is wonderful to meet you. I'm not familiar with your work but look forward to checking it out.

Karen Cote said...

Brooklyn, what a treat it is to host you. Hubby and I were listening to your music last night and I have to say, I adore your voice and the heart you put into your music. I also have the pleasure of reading Vigilare and its very difficult to put it down - definite page-turner.

Thanks again for sharing yourself. I know those visiting will find you as precious as I do.

Karen Cote said...

Hello my darling Savannah. Isn't Brooklyn fantastic? I don't think my lounge will ever be the same. Lol.

Thank you my dear friend for stopping by, *smooches*

Brooklyn James said...

Hi Savannah. Seems as though I should check out Lovers Moon as well! Thanks for stopping by.

Karen, so glad you're enjoying Vigilare. And thank you for the kind words about my music. You and your Avatars ROCK!