it’s release day!! A letter to my younger self

Dear 17-year-old me,

This is quite the journey you’re going to embark on. You’ve been writing this series on and off for two years. You’ve wanted to throw it across the room and give up a number of times. I know. I even remember when we quit on it, only to return to it not many days after. You’ll take lots of breaks from this series, and you’ll get serious about it in about a year.

You’re going to go through a bit of journey when it comes to finding a good editor. There’s going to be an editor that makes you doubt your characters. And you’ll be burnt out of writing this series once again.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Right now, this book, this second book to a series with a name you hate, is special to you. You need it because it’s your therapy through the very depression trying to take over. I know it’s a hard fight. I know you hardly sleep, and it’s hard to keep going through life and through this book.

But you will come so far. You’ve done some amazing things. You’re going to go through some more difficult times, in life and in writing, and it’s going to want to break you. In fact, you will almost break.

But I’m glad you didn’t.

This book is the most reflective of your heart that you’ve put out there so far. And it’s going to be published today. Right now. It’s out and people have read it, and will read it.

I’m proud of how far you’ve come. Be understanding of yourself a little more. Accept that sometimes you cannot control the way the wind will blow or the trials that will come to you. But you are strong.

Signed,

Your Future Self.

To have two books out there in the world is… crazy. To be writing the third is strange and hard. An end of an era. This very era started when I was a lonely teen and is now being brought into the world and it’s just crazy to think people will read my books.

Today is release day. The books are available. And that’s insane.

You, reading this post, may have pre-ordered or plan to order soon. That’s mind-blowing.

To everyone who has supported me, I appreciate you. You’ve given me this purpose to keep writing. I’m excited for the future of my writing and the books I have planned. I’m excited to bring the end to this era, but also saddened by it as well. The HWR kids have gotten me through a lot of life things and it’s sad to bring an end to their story, but for now, you’re still diving in to the deepest parts of it.

United We Fall is the story of my heart. Peter’s anger, grief, and depression often reflect my own… without the whole thirst for revenge thing. πŸ˜… Each character has some piece of me, but are also entirely their own person who practically wrote themselves.

Thank you for continuing this journey with me.

august slipped away into a moment of time

Time for a little bit of an August recap! This month was kind of a crazy up and down thing that was both joyful and painful.

Something that I suppose stuck out to me this month is change. Life changes a lot and it’s honestly pretty hard on me to deal with a lot of change. Especially all at once. But change has been a big thing, not necessarily a direct thing in my life, but something that I’ve had to be around and experience.

But change can be good at times.

Anyway, I thought I would go over what I listed as my August goals in my last post. I actually did not mean to be gone so long between posts, but it’s easier for me to blog when I feel like it rather than force myself to post things, so that’s kind of going to be my trend for now.

So what did I accomplish/experience in August…

The one big goal I gave myself was to write everyday and start chipping away at what remained of On We Ascend, the third book in the How We Rise trilogy.

The unfortunate thing is that, if I’m entirely honest, my emotions this month were up and down. And when I’m down, I struggle deeply with writing. And I’ve already been struggling with this book on a good day, so I tend not to touch it on a bad one.

On top of that, I’m considered a title change for the third book. I don’t know if I will change it or if I’ll just let it be.

Last books are so hard. I’ve been saying that everywhere lately when I talk about it, but it’s true! Final books can kick you in the butt. I’ve grown up with these characters and to close their story is to close a part of my mind, heart, and soul that I’m not sure I’m ready to close. They mean so much to me that it’s so strange to see them grow up and be their own human beings.

Which brings me to the fact that my characters have gone rogue!! Faith will know what I’m talking about. I can’t talk about it here because #spoilers. But they have gone entirely rogue. They’ve formed ships I didn’t intend to happen and I’m still pretty salty about it. I’m not sure I will let them continue this mutiny, we’ll just have to see. πŸ˜‘

Faith and I listened to the entirety of the new One Republic album, Human, on the same Friday it came out. I have not been the same since. This album has brought me so much joy and I cannot recommend it enough. I felt so seen, so understood, and so happy listening to that album. It’s so beautiful and you can bet I’m always spinning it.

I discovered Snow Patrol has a reworked Chasing Cars that’s a more somber version and I kind of love it? Chasing Cars is a song that has special meaning to me. And the sad version is just… a vibe.

Also, I discovered I love Duncan Laurence’s Arcade in its original version over the one with the female singer. Nothing against that version, I will enjoy both at any given moment. But the original hits different.

And as always, I’m listening to starset because they are my life.

I bought A Tale of Dreams by Nicole Adair and We The Wild Things by Brian McBride and I can’t WAIT to dive into these.

I also read a book called Amelia Unabridged and it has changed my life. I cannot recommend that book enough. Mostly clean with just a couple of mild swear words, it’s honestly one of the best books I’ve read in 2021. It reminded me what GOOD fiction looks like. It will go down as a classic when this time has long passed.

I’m still reading What Lies Above by Caitlyn Lambert. I don’t think it’s any fault of the book that its taking me this long. I got into a major reading slump within the fantasy and sci-fi genres so I just need a break from them. Which is why I’ve shifted over to contemporary, which is not a genre I usually read much of? It’s just been very helpful in killing this reading slump lately.

That’s basically been my month of August. It slipped away pretty quickly, but I do so look forward to the autumn season. I’m ready for pumpkin everything, baking, cold air, jackets and sweaters… the whole thing.

What’s been going on in your life? Any new music or book recs? Tell me all about it in the comments!

August Goals, Blog Name Change, and Life Updates

background picture from unsplash

A while back, I did a poll on my Instagram, asking all my frens to vote on what post they’d like to see next. Not a surprise, but Struggles Authors/Writers Have That No One Talks About was the winner. However, I felt like I needed more time for that post, more thoughtfulness. I wanted to make sure that post was everything it could be, and I began to struggle to write it. So I decided to go with one of the other choices, which I believe got the second most amount of votes.

But… I never made goals for August. Not Really. My biggest goal was my sophomore novel’s cover reveal. That was August 6th, and in case you missed it, you can find the post here.

Beyond all of that… I didn’t really have any goals in mind. I know I should’ve made some goals for the month to keep me on track. But lately, a lot of the bigger goals I would have concern writing or publishing or something along those lines. And writing has been a struggle.

I’m in a bit of a rut. I have one more book to write and then my trilogy is complete. That’s so surreal to me. And last time I tried to write it… I burned out pretty fast.

I think final books are hard. Even though it’s definitely not the final book I’ll write or publish, it is the final book of a trilogy, an end to an era that has been a part of me since I was fifteen! That’s seven years this month, actually. How We Rise was born in August of 2014. And since then, those characters have raised me.

But now, here we are. It’s the middle of August. And honestly, I’m ready to get more structure into my writing time. I have practically all day to write once I get home from work. A lot of people would envy the time I have, and yet I don’t put it to use and then I get to the end of the day, unfulfilled and sad.

So I’ve decided I don’t care if it’s the middle of the month. I am going to establish some goals. But they won’t just be for August. The months of July, August, and September make up the third quarter of the year. So I’ve decided to begin a quarterly goal for the remainder of this quarter.

And that goal is to finish this draft of On We Ascend.

*cue dramatic music and a gasp among the audience*

Yes, you heard me right. But I’m not going to entirely push myself to finish the draft by the end of September. I want this book to be the best one yet, so I will also allow myself to let the goal seep into October if it needs to. But my *realistic* goal is for this book to be done by the end of October.

I realize I just said the world “goal” about a thousand times, so I’ll stop saying it now. πŸ˜‚

Now, onto the name change. I did change the header of this blog because I was craving something new, something that reflects my dark, melancholy personality while still giving a dash of hope and light. And honestly, Into The Deep is a title that fits me more. I want to talk about a lot on this blog. And sometimes, I get really deep into my head about things. So it felt more like a title that fit me and this blog’s purpose.

Now, onto life updates.

I don’t really know if there’s anything new to discuss beyond the fact that my sequel novel, United We Fall, is available for preorder. You can also advanced read it from booksprout. If you’re familiar with Netgalley, then booksprout is even easier in terms of getting ARCs to your kindle or phone or whatever device you prefer.

I used booksprout as a reader to read K.A. Emmons’ new book, Searching for Sparrow. I loved how user-friendly it was. So I decided why not try it for United We Fall? And it’s super user friendly for authors as well! I wish I could’ve promoted it more, but unfortunately, as an independent author, I don’t really have the funds for that. Which is also why I didn’t use Netgalley.

Being an Indie author is hard. You want to make everything perfect and competitive with the traditional market. I know I want everything to be as professional as possible. But at the end of the day, the truth is that until there’s more respect for independent authors, we aren’t going to be equal. And that’s okay. I have read indie books that I love more than traditional books. I have read traditional books that I loved more than indie books.

I think there is a rise in support for indie authors and I believe we will get there someday.

But indie authors typically can’t make the best-seller lists unless they hit it big. Indie authors don’t often sell thousands upon thousands of copes of their book. In fact, only about 10% of their following actually buys or reads their books. I’ve been fortunate that it’s been more than that for me, but not everyone is going to be able to sell a lot of books.

It’s about marketing and being authentic.

In my opinion, I’ve been able to form better friendships and communications with my readers. They can message me anytime and they know I’m not going to turn them away. They can send me updates on their reading progress and I smirk like the evil author that I am. 😈

So… not quite a life update, more like an author update. Oh well. πŸ˜‚

Tell me how you’re doing in the comments!

UNITED WE FALL COVER REVEAL

This is so surreal. To have one book out there in the world is an accomplishment. To have the honor of publishing a second one is entirely humbling, and crazy, and just unbelievable. I’m so excited to bring this book to you. United We Fall has been something I’ve worked on for years. I started writing it before How We Rise was even done. I knew how How We Rise would end for a long time, and I knew I wanted to make this book Peter’s book. As I started writing it at seventeen, I was going through a very bad depression personally. This book has always been a therapeutic book for me to write.

It became a safe place for me. These characters have become my friends. My family. And as I struggle to really write the final book, I know it will hurt me to leave them when it’s time to finish the trilogy.

But today, we’re here to focus on the second book in my trilogy, United We Fall. So without any more mushy delay, I bring you the cover and the blurb and some aesthetics to my second book, as well as a playlist.

What is truth? What are lies?

It’s been two weeks since Raegan’s death. Two weeks since a big blow was dealt to the resistance. Two weeks since Peter lost his best friend and perhaps his soul mate. Now, he’s out for revenge on everyone responsible, starting with the biggest coward: Agent Specter.

Peter doesn’t care what rules he has to break to bring down those who took away the one he loved the most. When someone he never expected comes forward with information that seems too good to be true, he has to make a decision on what to do before it’s too late.

The shocking sequel to How We Rise.

As for preordering the book, unfortunately, I’ve run into some technical difficulties with Ingram Spark, so preorder links are not yet available. Follow me on Instagram or Twitter to be updated on that as they become available. However, ARCs are available through booksprout, so I will link that here!

Make sure to add United We Fall on Goodreads!

And finally, even if you were not taking part of the cover reveal, please feel free to share the posts in your stories on instagram, or on twitter, and tag me! I would love to reshare and thank each and every one of you who shares and shows support! Y’all are the reason I can even do this!

Thank you to everyone who has supported this dream of mine, not once, but twice now.

To my lovely readers, this is for you. I hope it’s everything you dreamed it would be. It’s everything I needed.

keep rising, my friends!

~Brooke

Let’s Talk About The Blood Race

If you know me, you know I am OBSESSED with The Blood Race Trilogy by K.A. Emmons. That trilogy inspired me so much in my own author journey, as well as being one of my favorites.

If you’re on Instagram, you may have heard that K.A. Emmons announced a duology continuation of The Blood Race.

I SCREAMED! I CANNOT BEGIN TO SAY HOW EXCITED I AM RIGHT NOW.

Of course, I’m out here hoping that it’s about Fin. Fin is just… FIN IS MY BOI! I would marry Fin right here, right now. Fin has a heart of gold. Fin deserves this!!!

I have no clue if this duology is about Fin, this is just my own speculation so don’t come at me if you’re hoping for a Fin book and its not about him because I really don’t know anything besides what Ms. Emmons has posted on Instagram.

(One time, she responded to one of my comments about more Fin in the future, hence my theory about this duology!!)

But I just want to take a moment to do an appreciation post about the original trilogy and it’s prequel, Anomaly.

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photo from goodreads

In Anomaly, we learn more about Ion’s past four years before The Blood Race (TBR) takes place. I read an advanced reader copy (ARC) of this book from NetGalley and I loved it so much. Having already read the other trilogy a thousand times before, I could see the little hints of what was to come and what referred to the future Ion would experience. But this book could easily be read without reading any of the other books. (Obviously, Brooke, it’s a prequel. πŸ˜‘)

But getting to see how Ion grew up really helped me understand some of the, uh, crappy decisions he made in the beginning of TBR. I could see why he sought out things that he did and his confusion about himself.

MINI REVIEW:

Fantasy/Sci-fi/Magical Realism/amazing characters/amazing plot/cool insight to Ion’s past

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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photo from goodreads

Ah, my true love. The Blood Race. This book and I have a bit of history. It has honestly inspired and driven me to be the author that I am today. I mean, there are more books that have done that as well, but this book was one of the first ones to really open my eyes to GOOD fiction. At the time, most books I had been reading left a lot to be desired. This book filled me up. It’s quite funny because at the time, I was super strict about the type of fiction I would consume, so I really think this book helped me branch out and realize there was so much more out there than what I had limited myself to.

I could reread this book forever.

So this book dives right into action with a street race. Cool, right??! We follow Ion Jacobs and his roommates in college as they race the streets against a guy from their college, who happens to be a bit of a bully. Ion has always been an odd one out, a loner, so we’ve got a bit of the underdog trope. I won’t give away too much else, but we get to follow Ion as he discovers there is more to him and this world than he ever thought. He learns how to harness his power and what he was born to be! And of course the ending is such a big cliffhanger, you’ll want to dive right into book two!

MINI REVIEW:

Magical Realism/Sci-Fi/Other Dimensions/Cool badass chick/Epic Battles/Magic/Okay but FIN!!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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photo from goodreads

Fun Fact before I dive back into fangirl mode: Abbie Emmons, author of 100 Days of Sunlight and K.A. Emmons’ sister made the cover of this book!

FANGIRL MODE ENGAGED!!!

Let me just… can we take a moment of silence for my heart that was absolutely shattered in the best way with this book? This book TORE ME APART AND PUT ME BACK TOGETHER TO TEAR ME APART AGAIN!!! I literally cannot begin to explain how this book is my favorite book besides the emotions and the depth of the whole thing. They literally just… IT JUST GETS ME OKAY?!

A lot of people might say this book gave them middle book syndrome. I say this book gave me PAIN. And HEARTBREAK. And THE NEED TO IMMEDIATELY GET THE THIRD BOOK!!

But I was an advanced reader for this book, so I was not able to have the third book right away.

This book got me through some stuff, let me tell you. I was at a very anxious time at my life and this book made me forget my anxiety existed. If you know me well enough, you know that I cannot forget my anxiety and such a book must contain magic!!

This book continues about a week or two after the first book. I can’t say much as a summary for this one because, well… it will spoil the first one which I WANT YOU TO READ PLEASE AND THANKS!

Fin. Fin is just absolutely amazing in this book. A lot of people don’t like some of the actions he took but I understood why he’d do it.

AND IF YOU THINK THE CLIFFHANGER OF BOOK ONE IS CRUEL, THIS ONE WILL ACTUALLY TEAR YOU APART AND LEAVE YOU IN PIECES. *is still sobbing while hugging the entire trilogy*

MINI REVIEW:

Broke my heart/right in two/I love this book the most/characters are so amazing/a plot twist no one saw coming/okay I kind of saw it coming but it still shocked me/pain/cliffhanger might leave you in tears

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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photo from goodreads

The final book in the trilogy (FOR NOW *SQUEEE*) is Resurgence. Resurgence is quite different from the other two. The genre shifts from having mainly Sci-Fi/Fantasy Elements to also having a very dystopian element. And if you pay close attention to the first two books, you know there was some subtle hints that a dystopian world was coming.

But at the end of Worlds Beneath, in the most non-spoiler way I can explain, stay in the Dimension for a while. So this book starts of 200 years later, as they return to Earth and let’s just say there is some crazy stuff happening right now with a very dystopian government.

This book was different in vibe from the first two (or three if you count the prequel.) It’s just a jump from everything. The villain of the series kind of changes, the vibe is different, even the characters are different. (200 years older and they’re all a bit more grouchy) (JKJK they’re amazing)

Fin. My boy. My heart. That’s all I need to say.

This book is the resolution I needed.

MINI REVIEW:

Dystopian now boys/Epic Battle Scenes/let’s just talk about Fin please/Okay I know he kind of made some mistakes but he’s still my boy/THE SHIPS THO/a stunning conclusion/EXCEPT NOT BECAUSE A DUOLOGY IS COMING

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

IN CONCLUSION

These books are my heart. These books are close to me. They are something I needed in the time that they existed and I’m so glad I’ve got to see how these books have grown and how both Kate and Abbie have grown as writers, authors, and now having their own podcast!

I’m so excited to see what this duology brings. I can’t wait to return to the world of The Dimension and to the characters I love so so much.

I hope this post inspired you to maybe pick up this series and try it out. Or even fangirl about a book you truly love.

Tell me in the comments one of your favorite books! I want to hear all about it!