Meet Author Brea Brown

my mison scarfWelcome to the third installment of (some of) My Favorite Authors! Have you read any of Brea Brown’s books yet?  Yes? Well, then you’ll understand why I love her so much. No? Well, get started – she’s written nine of them. Yep, nine. Read her bio and you’ll see why I’m in awe of this talented, funny writer.

Brea Brown lives in Springfield, Missouri, with her husband and three sons, but her international support network stretches as far as Australia. She’s an administrative assistant at an environmental consulting firm for forty hours a week and  a writer all the other waking hours of the week not taken up by motherhood, wifedom, reading, and watching cheesy TV shows like Sleepy Hollow. (That leaves a surprisingly large number of hours, believe it or not.) Her published novels are Daydreamer, The Secret Keeper, The Secret Keeper Confined, The Secret Keeper Up All Night, The Secret Keeper Holds On, The Secret Keeper Lets Go, Plain Jayne, Quiet, Please! and Let’s Be Frank. Coming soon: The Secret Keeper Fulfilled, the sixth and final book in the series.

Yep, nine books. 🙂

Welcome, Brea! So happy to have you here. So, who designs your fabulous book covers and how much input do you have in creating them?

BB: My best friend, Laura Sellars, designs my book covers. She’s mega-talented, so my input involves, “Hey, I need a cover. Do you think you could make one for me, please?” and…that’s it. I gave her some ideas for my cover for Let’s Be Frank, because she hadn’t read the book, so she needed a jumping-off point, but she ended up coming up with something completely different (and a thousand times better) than what I’d suggested. So, I stick to writing the books, and let her work the magic on the covers. It’s a beautiful thing.

Which authors inspire you?

BB: When I feel like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this anymore,’ and ‘All of my ideas seem to be the same,’ and ‘My writing is so flat,’ I pick up a book by Jennifer Weiner or Rainbow Rowell and I think, ‘YES! This is how you do it.’ They’re very inspirational to me, because their voices are so distinctive, and I admire that. Humble authors also inspire me. One of my favorites is Catherine Ryan Hyde. She’s unassuming and down-to-earth, in spite of being one of the most talented writers currently producing fiction. I don’t respect authors who project an air of entitlement. There’s a lot of that going around nowadays. Folks like Ryan Hyde help me keep the faith.

Authors sometimes are categorized as “plotters” or “pantsers.” How would you describe yourself as what goes into the creation of a new story?

BB: Well, I’m definitely a pantser. For sure. I often don’t know how a story is going to end, and I don’t know what’s going to happen between the beginning and the end, other than a few vague plot points. Sometimes not even that. I like to let the story take me where it’s going to take me. I write stories I’d like to read, so it’s like I’m reading them as I write them. That gets me trouble sometimes, but it’s just how my creative process works. I come up with a concept (usually by observing someone in real life – yeah, kind of creepy), then I build a whole world around that person. Sometimes I write vague character sketches to get a better idea of the backstories involved, but for the most part, I learn about them as I go. I often don’t even know what the main conflict is going to be or what the climax of the story will entail. It’s a lot of fun!


Brea has offered to gift a digital copy of The Secret Keeper to one lucky reader. Smart choice, Brea, because the reader will be hooked on the series from the very first book 🙂

secret keeper cover art

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2013 and The Books I’ve Read


I may not have had a stellar month of reading in November (or December), but then again, I published my fourth novel, so cut me some slack! Here are the books I actually finished in 2013 (I started plenty more – some I couldn’t finish and some I’m still reading):


  1. Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb. 1/3/2013.
  2. I Heart Ed Small by Shirley Johnson. 1/4/2013.
  3. Rule Number One by Nan Reinhardt. 1/19/2013.
  4. The Fall of the Misanthrope by Louise Wise. 2/3/2013.
  5. The Girl, the Gold Tooth, & Everything by Francine LaSala. 2/13/2013.
  6. Christmas in Wine Country by Addison Westlake. 2/16/2013.
  7. Champagne Toast by Melissa Brown. 2/23/2013.
  8. Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson. 2/23/2013.
  9. The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood. 2/27/2013.
  10. A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr. 3/3/2013.
  11. Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer. 3/18/2013.
  12. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. 3/18/2013.
  13. In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister. 3/27/2013.
  14. Social Insecurity by Kate Eileen Shannon. 4/6/2013.
  15. Way Out West by Blanche Marriott. 4/13/2013.
  16. Viewer Discretion Advised by Cindy Roesel. 4/14/2013.
  17. Maid for Love by Marie Force. 4/19/2013.
  18. Daydreamer by Brea Brown. 4/23/2013.
  19. Is This All There Is? by Patricia Mann. 4/27/2013.
  20. Wild for You by Sophia Knightly. 4/28/2013.
  21. Eyes of the Many by Kelly Graham. 5/3/2013.
  22. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. 5/7/2013.
  23. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin. 5/11/2013.
  24. Rita Hayworth’s Shoes by Francine LaSala. 5/20/2013.
  25. Fatty Patty by Kathleen Irene Paterka. 5/27/2013.
  26. The Secret Keeper (#1) by Brea Brown. 5/27/2013.
  27. The Karmic Connection by Libby Mercer. 5/31/2013.
  28. When You Were Older by Catherine Ryan Hyde. 6/2/2013.
  29. Midnight Train to Paris by Juliette Sobanet. 6/18/2013.
  30. The Gatsby Game by Anne R. Allen. 6/22/2013.
  31. Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles. 7/6/2013.
  32. The Sunset Witness by Gayle Hayes. 7/16/2013.
  33. The Secret Keeper Confined (#2) by Brea Brown. 7/20/2013.
  34. Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout. 7/30/2013.
  35. The Secret Keeper Up All Night (#3) by Brea Brown. 8/9/2013.
  36. The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. 8/15/2013.
  37. Where We Belong by Catherine Ryan Hyde. 9/8/2013.
  38. The Illegal Gardener by Sara Alexi. 9/12/2013.
  39. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. 9/13/2013.
  40. Thin Rich Bitches by Janet Eve Josselyn. 9/14/2013.
  41. Men in my Town by Keith Smith. 9/16/2013.
  42. Chasing Memories by Tia Silverthorne Bach. 9/27/2013.
  43. Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde. 10/3/2013.
  44. For I Have Sinned by Kathleen Irene Paterka. 10/8/2013.
  45. Fifty Ways to Leave Your Husband by KC Wilder. 10/20/2013.
  46. Oxygen by Carol Cassella. 10/25/2013.
  47. Merry Chick Lit by various authors. 11/24/2013.
  48. Merry & Bright by various authors. 11/24/2013.


My favorites from this list? In no particular order, the books that affected me most this year were:



I don’t usually jump on the NYT best-seller bandwagon. In fact, I’d rather support indie authors, being one myself. Many of the books listed above are indie-published, and well worth your time. Read the blurb, check out some of the reviews, and find yourself some good books!


Best Moment Award

Well, it was the lovely Sandra Bellamy at quirkybooks who nominated me for a Best Moment Award. Thanks, Sandra! She noted my CHOCOLATE FONDUE cover reveal post as a Best Moment.

Read below for my official acceptance speech (!) and where I pass the award on to others. The rules, as I understand them, are also posted below.

Best Moment Award, web awards, blogging awards, winners, nominations

Awarding the people who live in the moment, The noble who write and capture the best in life,

The bold who reminded us what really mattered – Savoring the experience of quality time.


Winners re-post this completely with their acceptance speech. This could be written or video recorded.

Winners have the privilege of awarding the next awardees! The re-post should include a NEW set of people/blogs worthy of the award; and winners notify them of the great news.


  • What makes a good acceptance speech?
    • Gratitude. Thank the people who helped you along the way
    • Humor. Keep us entertained and smiling
    • Inspiration. Make your story touch our lives
  • Get an idea from the great acceptance speeches, compiled in
  • Display the award’s badge on your blog/website, downloadable in


It is my honor and privilege to accept the Best Moment Award, given by Sandra Bellamy, who writes the Beat Redundancy Blues Blog at WordPress. Thank you, Sandra, for thinking of me, and for your appreciation of my beautiful book cover. Thank you to the people who read my blog, who like it, who comment (publicly and privately). It means a lot to me that I write something of quality, even if I’m ranting. To my faithful and loyal followers – I love you! You built my base. And to my new followers – thank you! I’ll never take you for granted.

Here is my list of the nominees for the Best Moment Award, with a link to the post I found to be so marvelous.

Celebrate! Tweet your success with hashtag #MomentMatters. Congratulations to all of the winners!