A Look Back at 2023

Something I’d wished I’d done in the past is keeping track of the small and big wins, and things I accomplished that year, so I could look back and reflect on how far I’ve come. Self-publishing is a hard industry and as authors we can be so tough on ourselves that we often forget to celebrate the small stuff too, not just the big ones. Especially this year as I started over as a solo author under a new pen name, I want to remember where I started and how far I’ve come in the future.


2023 has been a year for the books!

And I know that’s such a cliché saying, but I really mean it. It was my transition year. Switching from co-writing back to solo writing after 7 years. It was the year of change and working hard for everything I wanted with starting over with a new pen name. So much happened this year, it kinda blows my mind. Although I only published one novella and one full-length novel, a lot of fun things happened behind the scenes to set up for next year.

So let’s go down memory lane and reflect on everything that happened in 2023…


The biggest change was starting the year a part of a duo and going to a solo author. With that came creating a new pen name and whole new world of characters. After lots of brainstorming and creating my Brooke Montgomery brand, I came up with the Sugarland Creek series. A small-town, family saga series set in the fictional town of Sugarland Creek in East Tennessee. It includes a prequel novella and five full-length novels. Two released this year and the other four are scheduled to release in 2024. Each book features a Hollis sibling finding their own happily-ever-after and can read as a stand-alone.


Now, let’s start with the two new books that released this year: Come With Me (prequel, book #0.5) and Here With Me (book #1). Both were written and published this year. The prequel is 45k words and book #1 is 105k words. I used the prequel as a free newsletter builder via BookFunnel and as an introduction to the Sugarland Creek series. I decided to put the prequel on all platforms for a massive freebie promotion before putting it into Kindle Unlimited.

My only pre-order goal for book 1 was to beat my pre-order numbers from a previous best-selling Brooke Cumberland book. With a couple months to spare, that goal was met 1.5x by the time it released. I was even more shocked when it debuted at #103 in the Amazon Kindle store and got orange #1 best seller flags in the Western romance and new release charts.

Another thing I celebrated was Here With Me hitting 2k ratings in the first 2.5 months of release. That was a huge milestone for me! I’m always so grateful to everyone who rates/reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, or BookBub.

Here With Me also celebrated a big win with getting an All-Star bonus from Amazon in the Kindle Unlimited program during it’s first month of release and for the following two months after that (October to December).


One of the biggest tasks I took on this year was sending 100 PR boxes for Here With Me before it released. I spent months planning, getting supplies, and working with a handful of other small businesses to make it happen. I knew I wanted to go big to promote this new series under a new pen name. I curated each item to fit the story and characters. I had an absolute blast getting them together and watching influencers share them online. I packaged and shipped each one myself, which was a huge undertaking, but it was 1000% worth it!


I also got both books translated and self-published in Italian and German. They ranked better than expected in both Amazon IT and DE stores. Book 2, Stay With Me will also be translated in early 2024. Another exciting thing I did was publish three audiobooks. One was an older backlist book under Brooke Cumberland. I got my rights back after 7 years and got it re-done with dual POV narrators. Then, both books in the Sugarland Creek series published in audiobook and are listed on Amazon/Audible.


Something I haven’t done in four years is book signings and I decided to sign up for three upcoming events – one international for 2024 and two for 2025. I’ll be heading to RARE 24 Scotland in Sept. I’ve never flown out of the country, so I’ll be going to Scotland for almost two weeks and hoping to bring my daughter with so she can experience it with me. Then, I’ll be going to Austin, TX and Orlando, FL with the Southern Belles Author Events in 2025. I’m so excited to be going as Brooke Montgomery and meeting readers again!


One of my most favorite things to happen this past year was going to Ellicottville, NY to meet up with nine other authors for a five-night writing retreat and book signing. We stayed in a cabin up on a mountain and spent our days learning, teaching, and having a blast. Then we went up to Erie, PA to sign at Werner’s Book store for a day. This was huge for me because not only did I get to meet some of my closest friends in person, but it got me out of my comfort zone. I’m an introvert and the thought of going to meet nine people I’d never met in person before was a big feat for me, but I have no regrets. I had the time of my life! These are the same authors I’m going to Scotland with and cannot wait for all of us to be together again 🙂


I’ve worked with Reveal Book Box in the past and was so excited to work with them again for their November box. I signed over 1000 tip sheets for Here With Me and loved seeing everyone’s unboxing’s!


I hosted a holiday anthology with nine other authors called “Ice Cold Kisses.” We used it as a newsletter builder. I wrote a 17k word novella called “Wish With Me.” It’s a companion to the Sugarland Creek series about one of the ranch hands getting his second chance at love. It went live November 15th through Dec. 31st and did really well! I was beyond excited to collab with these authors—Dakota Willink, Lex Martin, Echo Grayce, Piper Rayne, Lucia Franco, A.K. Evans, LK Shaw, Patricia D. Eddy, and Nicole French.


I didn’t do many group type takeovers this year because after all this time I just don’t think they work as well as they used to, but I’m always willing to make exceptions for the right opportunity. When THE SMUTHOOD asked me to be apart of their 12 Days of Smutmas Event, I didn’t even have to think twice about it. It was an honor to be included, and I had a blast introducing my books to their 160k+ members.


Two career-firsts happened this year and one is being featured in an exclusive book box, The Pretty Little Words. Here With Me will be in their February “Valentines Box” for their Small Town Cowboy Romance monthly trope box. It includes me and two other authors I’m honored to be featured with—M. Robinson and Ava Hunter. If you’re interested, pre-orders open Jan. 1st and box options include paperback, hardcover, and swag.


The second career-first that happened this year and definitely wasn’t on my BINGO card is getting exclusive Sugarland Creek series MERCH!! This was just revealed, and I’m beyond excited to share that you’ll be able to get T-shirts, long-sleeves, crew sweatshirts, mugs, and hats in a variety of colors and sizes through Novel Grounds’ store! The launch is coming early January!


I can’t thank you enough for your support this year as I started fresh as a solo author. Twelve months ago, there was so many unknown questions in the air. Not only was I starting over with a new pen name, I was still juggling work under my duo pen name and being a mom and wife. My husband is handicapped so he’s limited on certain tasks and my daughter turned 13 this year, which means she’s going through a lot of her own teenage changes. It was a very busy year, but also, very fulfilling. I’m honored and blessed to have such amazing people in my corner and team who help me stay on track and encouraged me to keep going. Thank you to everyone who read or shared my books. Thank you to my circle of author besties, my PAs, my editing and design team, my betas, and everyone of you who showed up for me this year. I can’t express how much it’s appreciated.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading.
Here’s to 2024 being as full of surprises as this one was!
-Brooke

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ARCs are now out in the wild 🥰 𝑭𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑴𝒆 will be available on wide retailers tomorrow for about 36 hours. So if you’re a non-Amazon reader, make sure to download it right away before it’s gone. It’ll go live and into Kindle Unlimited on Wednesday, the 29th so only a few more days to go! 🧡 You can also pre-order signed copies on my website.

What to expect:
✨ Six year age gap
✨ Cowboy x Barrel Racer
✨ She can’t stand him
✨ He falls first (and hard)
✨ She loses her memory
✨ Grumpy x Sunshine (she’s the grump)
✨ Small-town ranch romance
✨ Calls her Little Devil
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• 𝐟𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 •

“So instead of my solo showers, you can stay to enjoy them with me…”

“Before our first date? What kind of lady do you think I am…”

“One who won`t stop undressing me with her eyes.”

“What can I say? I`m a sucker for a cowboy with a backwards hat and six-pack abs.”

Same, Ellie. Same. 🫠

🧡 Coming May 29th to Kindle Unlimited
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• one week countdown •

Ellie’s about to give Landen a run for his money in 𝑭𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝑴𝒆 coming next Wednesday! 🧡

If you like a chance to read it early, it’ll be available on Apple, Kobo, Nook, & Google Play on Monday for a very short time.
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★ Special Book Box Cover Edition ★

I’m obsessed with this cover from the @theprettylittlewords! If you grabbed book 1’s box, now’s the time to grab the add-on for book 2 and have a matching set by the end of the series! Closes May 31st.

In case you didn’t grab book 1, keep an eye out for their “less than perfect” listing going up soon! You might be able to grab one 💖
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