Pity Isn't An Option's character inspiration photos and well, happy weekend!

After a bit of thought, I've decided to go ahead and share my character inspiration photos for Pity Isn't An Option. This is one of those iffy things where there's a potential to change the reader's visual either for the better or for the worse, which was why I've held back from sharing since starting PIAO over three years ago. I didn't want to push anyone into the "for the worse" category; but now that it's out in the world, I really want to share because I think it will give readers a new connection.

I would love to be able to share these photos here on the blog, but I think the copyright issues aren't as big (yet) on Pinterest, so that's where I'm doing it. If you would like to see how I saw Jonas and Hattie and Heath and Gran and Lucy and everyone else from the very beginning, head on over to my board by clicking this link. I'd love to hear what you guys think!

Quick reminder: The Goodreads PIAO giveaway ends SUNDAY. If you haven't entered and would like to, look right over there at the sidebar --- > and click the Enter to Win link.

Have a blessed weekend, everybody! 


When a book still pricks at your brain days later, it's a keeper

So I've been on a reading frenzy the past couple of weeks and I thought I'd ask what you've read lately that really stood out. I used to think a "perfectly written story" made the perfect book, where the words were amazing and things ended all tied up and nice and you heaved a contented sigh of relief and went about your day (or promptly fell asleep), but my opinion has changed over the years and now I think the ones forever in my "favorite" category are the ones still pricking at my brain days later while I try to come to terms with it all.

Two that have stuck with me recently are:

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman (you can read my review here)


"There’s a reason why Brewster can’t have friends – why he can’t care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can’t be explained. I know, because they're happening to me."

When Brontë starts dating Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlins – the guy voted “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty” her twin brother, Tennyson, isn’t surprised. But then strange things begin to occur. Tennyson and Brontë’s scrapes heal unnaturally fast, and cuts disappear before their eyes. What at first seems like their good fortune turns out to be more than they bargained for…much more.


Tamar by Mal Peet (no review because I just wasn't even sure how to put it into words).

Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal

When her grandfather dies, Tamar inherits a box containing a series of clues and coded messages. Out of the past, another Tamar emerges, a man involved in the terrifying world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland half a century before. His story is one of passionate love, jealousy, and tragedy set against the daily fear and casual horror of the Second World War -- and unraveling it is about to transform Tamar’s life forever. 

From acclaimed British sensation Mal Peet comes a masterful story of adventure, love, secrets, and betrayal in time of war, both past and present.

Both of these are young adult books, though Tamar actually has adult POV as well. I swear I knew until the very ending of Tamar what was going on. Yeah, no. Boy did I get thrown for a loop. It bothered me for days.

So. There are two of my "pick your brain keepers". What books are picking at your brain? Feel free to share in the comments (I love adding to my TBR list)!

Be blessed,


Announcing: Local Author Wednesdays

Before sharing the announcement I hinted about last week, I wanted to take a moment thank those of you who have purchased PIAO. I am so blessed! It's hard to know how many books have been purchased exactly due to numerous vendors, but at times both the paperback and Kindle version have moved from low to quite far up in the rankings (for me, anyway) so I can tell it is definitely being purchased! Thanks, everyone!

And now for my exciting news: 

I am very, very excited to announce that I will be hosting a new theme called Local Author Wednesday starting May 1st

In the four plus years that I have been writing it has become blatantly obvious how much easier it is to connect with writers online than it is to connect with writers locally. When Pity Isn't An Option was released in February, that lack of knowledge and means to share this information actually made me quite sad. There are so many authors! So many books! Books eager to be held and read by readers who know nothing about them! 

So, this is for you, local readers (and any other readers interested in participating). Each Local Author Wednesday will feature an author, one of their books, and a giveaway!

*throws coffee bean confetti*

Here's the genre/author lineup (not in any particular order):

Young Adult fiction -- Kasie West (link), author of Pivot Point (you might have noticed me dropping her book last Thursday at Superior Dairy during #rockthedrop)

 Pivot Point

Blurb: Knowing the outcome doesn't always make a choice easier. . . .
Addison Coleman's life is one big "What if?" As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It's the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie's parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the "Norms," or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it's not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback's girlfriend. When Addie's father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she's unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she's willing to live through . . . and who she can't live without.


Non-fiction -- Michael J. Semas (link), author of Kings County (Postcard History Series)

If you're into local history (or history in general) this book is perfect. I love reading books like this because they inspire me while I'm writing, not to mention it's awesome to know how the area you live used to be. (The fact that I can tell my daughters this info as we drive around, therefore, driving them nuts, is just a bonus!)

Kings County (Postcard History Series)

Blurb: Kings County is slowly becoming modern, as California's urban areas continue to expand into rural and formerly agricultural land. Still the open skies here look down upon copious amounts of historical significance. From the dwellings of the early Yokut people, ferries across the Kings River, the arrival of the railroad, and the subsequent Mussell Slough tragedy to the expansion of Highway 198, modernist buildings in Hanford, and the military presence at Lemoore, Kings County boasts compelling stories and a diverse group of people and places. In this engaging retrospective, readers will enjoy fantastic images of a Kings County that some say no longer exists.


Romantic Historical Fiction -- Sharon Lathan (link), author of The Darcy Saga series (a continuation of Pride & Prejudice) and most recently released, The Passions of Dr. Darcy

Passions of Dr. Darcy

Blurb: You never know where a life of purpose may lead...
Master storyteller Sharon Lathan explores a fascinating and unique aspects of the Regency period, when the British Empire offered the young noblemen of the day promising adventures all over the world.
While Fitzwilliam Darcy is enjoying an idyllic childhood at Pemberley, his vibrant and beloved uncle, Dr. George Darcy, becomes one of the most renowned young physicians of the day. Determined to do something more with his life than cater to a spoiled aristocracy. George accepts a post with the British East India Company and travels in search of a life of meaning and purpose.
When George Darcy returns to Pemberley after many years abroad, the drama and heartbreak of his travels offer a fascinating glimpse into a gentleman's journey of self-discovery and romance.

Paranormal (think PG13) -- James Garia, Jr. (link), author of Dance on Fire and Flash Point

Blurb: Each May, the Central California town of Kingsburg celebrates its Swedish heritage with the annual Swedish Festival: a weekend event where the town puts on its traditional dress, culminating with a dance around a Maypole on Friday, and a Swedish pancake breakfast and parade on Saturday. The town with a population of over 11,000 residents draws thousands more to the event. This year, two uninvited guests also converged upon the unsuspecting town.

Nathaniel is a vampire. He wandered into town, bothering no one; feeding upon stray cats and other vermin, wanting nothing more than to have a place to rest his head. Vincent is a second vampire, and the one responsible for making Nathaniel. He has been searching for his long lost “son” for well over two centuries. Vincent’s goal is to take Nathaniel home or kill him. Nathaniel has often wished for death, wondering why God ever allowed this punishment: to walk the earth undead and unable to be redeemed. Does God remember the little boy from Romania who watched his parents die, was raised by the murdering vampire, only to become one himself? What does God think of Nathaniel and could there yet be redemption for one outside of heaven?

Ten days before the start of the Swedish Festival the most tumultuous week in the history of Kingsburg has begun with two vampires leaving death and destruction in their wake. Kingsburg Police Detectives Mark Jackson and Michael Lopez, Barbara and the entire Lopez family find themselves drawn into something that threatens to destroy them all or leave them scarred forever.

In a marriage of the classic horror story and the Christian themes of good conquering evil and redemption, Dance on Fire is the account of characters being drawn into the fire and the supernatural forces around them watching as they burn.


So there you go. One author will be featured each Wednesday through the month of May, and along with giveaways, there will be cool facts to give you an idea of what each book is about. Feel free to share this post and spread the author love!!! :)

Be blessed,


This week's news (because I'm at a loss for a better title)

Hey guys. Out of respect for what happened yesterday in Boston, I felt it was best not to post anything until today. Still standing on His promise for peace in this sad situation--let us all stand together during this tragedy and use our energy to pour out love and prayers on everyone affected!

 Now for this week's news...

1) The #rockthedrop countdown is on! This Thursday, participating readers will be dropping YA (young adult) books uh, wherever, simply to share the love of reading! (Sounds pretty awesome, no?) I'm sharing a few clues on Instagram now through Thursday morning so my local peeps will have an idea as to where some books will turn up (and no, I will not be dropping any Pity Isn't An Option books anywhere, sorry). If this is the first time you're reading about it, click here for more info.

Regarding the particular books I'm dropping, I'll give you hints about two of them: One involves controlling the wind, and another has to do with a blind girl being stolen. :)

2) The next spot of news for today is actually a teaser: I am setting up something really exciting for the month of May here at My Thoughts Exactly, and I can't wait to tell you about it next week! The end! (Ha ha, told you it was a "teaser"!)

3) The ebook version of Pity Isn't An Option is now on sale for $2.99 at Smashwords, and will finally be available within the next few days on Amazon. *throws coffee beans* (You asked, I listened. Helloooo Amazon.) UPDATE: It's available for Kindle now! *more coffee bean throwage* (I know that's not a word.)

4) Did you SEE the Catching Fire trailer? Am I the only one saying WHERE IN THE HECK IS FINNICK!?!?!?!

Okay. Back to your regularly scheduled whatever it is you normally do. (I'd say reading, writing, cleaning, pinning, eating...)

Be blessed,


Rock The Drop 2013

Not sure how many of you have already heard of this but as I tweeted the other day, I think it's all kinds of awesome. (In fact, I'm contemplating incorporating this idea into things when IF I SPEAK TRUE is released this summer!)

Rock the Drop 2013

For more info, check out the article on Figment.com (link)

Keep your eyes peeled, local peeps. There's going to be a whole lot of YA scavenging going on around here. (I'll most likely use Instagram as my mode of sharing, as I think more locals will see it that way, so if you're not already following me and want to find a book or two around town next week, find me on Instagram--authorJessicaBrooks--or go here to follow.)

Wahoo! I'm already so excited!

Be blessed,


PIAO Giveaway Winners

I'm so excited to announce who won Pity Isn't An Option (and swag, including something special that has to do with the book). YAY! *throws coffee beans* (Those are my version of confetti--confetti with a KICK!)

I was so blessed to have Hafsah not only design the cover, but host the reveal and do a giveaway at her blog. Thanks, girl! ***hearts*** (If you're interested in any kind of design... book covers, websites, ect... check her design site out here.)

Jenna at Coffee Books & Me did an awesomesauce job as well--I was honored to have PIAO featured for her first ever book blog tour! Thanks also to Sara (Sara in Bookland), Von (Mr. Book Wonder), Maija (Bookish Randomness) Izz "Pingle" (Izz "Pingle" Bookish Place), Kathy (I am a Reader, Not a Writer) and Crys (Crys Book Reviews) who let PIAO and I stop at their blogs. :)

Without further ado, the winner from Hafsah's (IceyBooks) giveaway is:

Kelly G. from North Carolina

and the winners from Jenna's blog tour are:

Megan S. from New York (paperback)


Beppe (ebook)


For those of you who won paperbacks, those will go out in the mail this week. Beppe, you should be receiving an email from me shortly.

If you're a giveaway gal like me (as in, you love winning things) there's also two paperback copies of Pity Isn't An Option up for grabs at Goodreads. Here's the link, or you can go to my sidebar and enter that way.

Have a blessed week everyone, and congrats again to the winners!