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Monday, December 7, 2020

Just Shelby by Brooklyn James - Book Tour - Book Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Brooklyn James and her new book, “Just Shelby”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Brooklyn and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Just Shelby

by Brooklyn James


GENRE: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Romance w/ a Dash of Mystery



A secret note square found in a handmade guitar proves that small town gossip is not only ubiquitous but occasionally true. This gossip comes with strings rivaling those on Ace Cooper’s guitar, the safest strings he will ever have around his heart.

Ace’s father warns him to stay away from the Lynn girl. Daughter of a deceased bootlegger and a barely living addict, Shelby Lynn is no stranger to small town contempt. She keeps her nose in the books and feet to the ground, a college scholarship the only escape from her tumultuous life.

As Ace’s heartstrings unravel, so does his family’s role in Shelby’s broken past. Thrust into a precarious journey of their roots brimming with music and betrayal, the two have never been closer…to the truth of how Shelby’s father died. One truth transforms every facet of their lives forever.

A dual POV friends-to-first-love story, Just Shelby is an unsuspecting mystery that depicts how growing together can sometimes hurt worse than growing apart.



From Female—Shelby—Protagonist POV (218 Words):

    “It’s been a long week,” he says over my shoulder, stock-still except for his breathing—as on the rise as my running times. Even the music squalling from the Jeep follows his body language, shuffling from bluegrass to a pent-up love song.

    Yes, it has been a long week since our last make-out session, due to state meet preparation putting a damper on logging miles. The heat from, and the scent of, his bare torso makes mine ache for contact beneath my sweatshirt.

    “Destiny’s pregnant,” I blurt out, as if that fact could somehow blunt the ache.

    A soft groan-chuckle reverberates out of his chest and sinks into the pit of my stomach, tumbling like an Olympic gymnast. “I know you’re the smart one and all, but you can’t get knocked up from kissing.” He presses his lips to my temple—the sweetest, most affectionate, non-knocking-up kiss—before returning to the Shelby.

    I don’t bother pointing out that his tender restraint only heightens my attraction to him. That it makes the thought of going further with him even more enticing. Precisely how kissing is the precursor to pregnancy.

    Similar to oxygen, his form is strongly electronegative. Pregnancy panic and all, still I am pulled to it, idling beside it, and looking over the contents beneath the hood—a mechanical maze.



This book was such a fun, enjoyable, captivating, entertaining, and engaging young adult/coming of age read!!

I was quickly taken with the author’s writing style as she fully grabbed hold of my attention, immersed me into the story line, and not only did I completely lose track of time, but didn’t even notice the dozen or so texts and social media alerts that were buzzing on my phone.  Thankfully, none were emergency related lol!!!

This book was so intriguing I could not put it down and read it in just one sitting!!!

I really liked the main characters Shelby and Ace.  I loved that Shelby was smart, athletic, bold, sassy, feisty, daring, stubborn, caring, compassionate, responsible, hardworking, considerate, and ambitious.  I liked that Ace was strong, handsome, protective, easygoing, carefree, creative, encouraging, warmhearted, and of course, a bit mischievous.  I also really enjoyed all the supporting characters as they each brought something special and unique to the story.

I think the author did an amazing job on her character development as these characters were so real and personal on many levels!  Shelby certainly had not had the easiest life.  She was a very believable character and I absolutely felt for her and easily connected with her.  Shelby’s mom, Maisy, is definitely not the dream mom every kid hopes for.  Maisy is a struggling drug addict that is in and out of rehab with a track record of many setbacks and relapses.  Shelby’s father was a bootlegger with his own record who was shot and murdered allegedly over a deal gone wrong.  Shelby often avoids sharing these unmentionables, or as she puts it “airing out her dirty laundry.”  Further proof, that Shelby is a strong, fierce character that is driven and doesn’t let her family drama bring her down or dictate her future.

This book is told from each of the main character’s POV’s.  While every chapter features prominent headers to indicate whether it is Shelby or Ace’s POV, each character felt easily recognizable in the story dialogue as their established character profile and character traits significantly stood out.

I really liked that the author was able to write in a young, popular, playful tone that matched the high school student’s vocabulary, attitude, and mindset.

I really enjoyed the music lyrics and references that are keenly featured throughout the book.

I also enjoyed the handwritten notes that were included over the course of the book.  This introduced a cool, new, exciting medium to the book.

I really liked the small gray guitar images that were placed throughout the book.  They were super cute and added an extra fun, playful, lighthearted, and entertaining component to the book.

I really liked the mystery elements that were weaved into the story.  I enjoyed trying to find out the truth about Shelby’s father’s murder – why he was really killed and who killed him.  I love murder mysteries, so this definitely brought on extra excitement for reading this book and solving this case!!

I love that this book takes real-life issues head on and allows the reader to easily connect with the characters and the situations they get into.

This book is truly and appropriately classified as a young adult/coming of age read.  This book delves into everything from first kisses, first loves, the birds and the bees, birth control, teen pregnancy, applying for college, touring college campuses, bullying, mean girls, and everything in-between.  These are all important topics that need to be addressed and sometimes can be difficult to approach and/or discuss with parents so this book is a great way to get the ball started as a gateway to beginning these conversations.

I was shocked to read that Shelby and Destiny were only making $2.13 an hour plus tips!!!  That is insanely low!!!  Especially when many parts of the country are almost at $15.00 an hour – well pre-COVID-19.  This definitely makes me think twice when I complain about my wages lol.  And I am so adding Kentucky to my list of places NOT to move to if wages are that bad lol.  Which on another note, made me curious of all the rich and well-off customers of Hot Brown and characters throughout the story.  Doesn’t sound like the pay is well there, even with a county rich in coal, so it seemed a bit odd to have so many wealthy residents.

There is one element of this book that I was not particularly fond of.  I did not enjoy the paternity story line.  I don’t want to give away too much info, no spoilers here.  But I will say that I felt it was an unnecessary story line that only added confusion, disconcerting emotions, and disappointing character shortcomings.  There was so much going on in this book and this particular plot point just felt flat, inappropriate, and nonessential.

I loved that this book featured a social and charitable platform, Operation UCAN – Uniting Communities Against Narcotics.  Even though there is a bit of a scandal and downfall in the story, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a real charity.  So, I totally Googled it.  Unfortunately, I did not find that organization.  Surprisingly though, there is an organization, UCAN – United Community Action Network that is a few counties over and its mission is: “Creating solutions to poverty, improving lives in our community.”  I am very active with several non-profits in my community and am always looking for new charities to partner with.  I will definitely have to further look into the nearby UCAN and I am very interested in finding an organization with similar principals to the fictional UCAN from the book to work with.

I am still not sure about my final thoughts of the ending.  It certainly did not end the way that I expected.  Perhaps that is a positive as it was unpredictable.  I really enjoy HEA’s, especially if the book hits in the romance genre, even though I know that is not always real life.  This book is definitely about the more realistic, practical, and reasonable side of life which is probably why it ended the way it did and why the author chose not to make it a sappy, mushy ending.  Furthermore, I do feel that the author was able to tie up most of the loose ends and answer any remaining unanswered questions which allowed the ending to feel more cohesive and provide the reader with a deeper, meaningful closure.

This book has a creative story line, evenly paced plot points, intriguing mystery elements, detailed scenes, relatable and well-developed characters, important and useful coming of age life lessons, and keeps you fully engaged through the last page!!

This book does have quite a few predictable scenes. However, there are still some surprising, unexpected twists and turns that you won't see coming!

Currently, this book is not listed to be part of a book series.  This book can be read as a standalone.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it!  I think all young adult readers, coming of age readers, romance readers, and romance with a dash of mystery fans will like this book too!  So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations**

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Brooklyn James is an author/singer-songwriter who savors any opportunity to blend books with music. Her first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, has an original music soundtrack, making for a unique Audible experience. Out of Boots grew a platform where it was Brooklyn's honor to serve as a guest speaker with a focus on awareness and prevention of domestic violence and suicide.

Her latest speaking engagements centered around accessibility, rights, and choice in birth, as well as writing workshops on how to put pen to paper composing one's own birth story with the release of her birth memoir, Born in the Bed You Were Made: One Family's Journey from Cesarean to Home Birth.

Just Shelby gifted both the challenge and the thrill of this author's primary exploration into the Young Adult genre. She cherishes reader reviews, if you should be so inclined.

Moonlighting occasionally in voice-over and film, Brooklyn played a Paramedic in a Weezer video, met Harry Connick Jr. as an extra on the set of When Angels Sing, appeared in Richard Linklater's Boyhood for all of a nanosecond, and was a stand-in and stunt double for Mira Sorvino on Jerry Bruckheimer's Trooper pilot for TNT. Although reading, dancing, working out, and a good glass of kombucha get her pretty excited, she finds most thrilling the privilege of being a mother to two illuminating little souls and a wife to the one big soul from whom they get their light.

Brooklyn holds an M.A. in Communication, a B.S. in both Nursing and Animal Science, and lives in Texas Hill Country.















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Brooklyn will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Brooklyn ~ Good morning! Welcome to FAB! It is so great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! I really enjoyed reading and reviewing your book, thanks for providing the copy! :)

    1. Ally, your review and post has made my entire day! Thank you so very much for hosting and for such a thoughtful and thorough review <3 Thanks to all of those for stopping by and commenting. Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

  2. I enjoyed reading the excerpt, sounds like a fantastic book! Thanks for sharing! Thanks Fabulous and Brunette for sharing your thoughts!

  3. This sounds like a very good book.

  4. Your book sounds wonderful, would like to read it.