Write Your Own Script by A.L. Brooks

(10 customer reviews)

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Author: A.L. Brooks


A sizzling lesbian romance about finding out what’s important in life.

Beloved famous British actress Tamsyn Harris is in her early fifties and works hard to prove she’s still got “it”, despite her age. That means never revealing she’s a lesbian, for fear it would threaten her acclaimed career. After an on-set incident blows up, she disappears to a retreat to lay low for a while.


Maggie Cooper is a successful author with two pseudonyms and suffering from burn out. It’s hard enough trying to maintain both worlds, let alone keep them separate from real life. After checking herself into a retreat in Norfolk, the last thing she expects to find is the respected, beautiful actress she’s had a crush on her whole life.


As passion sweeps them up, they agree it can only be a holiday fling. But is that enough? Can they just return to their lives and leave each other behind?



Additional information

Publication Date

April 2019


epub (for Kindle Reader/Kindle Apps, for iBooks, Nook etc.), mobi, and pdf


87,000 words




978-3-96324-157-4 (mobi), 978-3-96324-158-1 (epub), 978-3-96324-159-8 (pdf)


Ylva Publishing

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10 reviews for Write Your Own Script by A.L. Brooks

  1. Sandra


    This is my fifth novel by A. L. Brooks and I liked them all. So whenever Brooks will bring on a new book I’ll definitely be reading it.
    The setup in this one is nothing new, closeted actress meets writer, but what I really loved was that the MCs are grown up women in her late 40s, early 50s with yearlong successful careers. They meet at a retreat, where they are the only guests at two secluded cabins in the Norfolk area. During the daily strolls through the forest and around the lake, they occasionally meet each other. There is an instant attraction and it didn’t last long till they got to know themselves very well – physically. There are some hot and steamy sex scenes, beautifully written and enjoyable, maybe not when you sit in a public place, but whatever you like. This part is more of an erotic romance, but it goes back to just romance. There are also witty dialogues and some insides in the thinking of both characters. And there is the lovely dog Gizmo.
    I liked that it’s written from both characters POV. I always want to know what they both are thinking and feeling, what experiences they had from their life and where they want to go. There are some great dialogues with secondary characters and between them. The struggles Tamsyn has to overcome, after fearing of losing her assignments for the last thirty years, if the public will discover she’s a lesbian. Is she willing to risk everything for Maggie? Is she tired enough of always hiding her real personality? See for yourself. I very much enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to the next from A. L- Brooks.
    My rating 4 stars.
    Many thanks to Ylva Publishing for receiving an ARC for an honest review.

  2. cheekybugger13


    A.L. Brooks’ “Write Your Own Script,” is the latest celebrity romance out there in lesbian fiction but with a slight twist. It’s a mature romance where the protagonists are in their late 40s, early 50s, which I thought was interesting to explore. Plus, Brooks’ style of telling this tale was very grounded. I felt that there was a sense of calmness in the handling of the epiphany, coming out, taking a chance on living in love, truth, openness and being one’s true self between the two protagonists throughout the story. Maybe because of the characters’ age, life experience? Speaking of, this mature romance was between Tamsyn, a deeply closeted, famous and successful, veteran actor and Maggie, an equally well-known, successful, award-winning, published author, an out lesbian in herself but as a writer, she published under two different pseudonyms – one for her mainstream fiction publications and the other for her lesbian fiction ones. Like Tamsyn, she was in the closet – but not “that” kind of closet, mind! She was closeted about writing for lesbian fiction, despite being equally famous and successful in that market, too, because of fear of any potential backlash against her bread-and-butter mainstream bestselling books. Hence, the need for two separate pen names! Yup, mum was the word when it came to her split personalities in the literary world!

    Brooks had divided the story into two parts. Part one, which I dubbed as “Escape from the Real World,” really, was about pure serendipity that struck two total strangers in the unlikeliest of places, a secluded countryside hidden away from prying eyes. I utterly loved how Maggie and Tamsyn met! One word. Gizmo. Yup! Oh, just wait ’til you read all about Gizmo, Maggie’s adorbs-to-death, hyper, happy and utterly sensitive dog!!! If you ask me, Gizmo was the scene-stealer of the story, hands down! Even Tamsyn, who wasn’t a fan of dogs, couldn’t escape the little cutie’s charms!! You just have to read it to feel that ball of pure joyous energy yourself! Also, Tamsyn just so happened to be Maggie’s teen crush whom she never imagined would meet IRL! Fate or whaa, eh?! Yet, there she was in the flesh! I loved that scene!

    Tamsyn was not only battling her lifelong fear of being outed or, god forbid, discovered about her sexuality, she was also fighting ageism in her job as an actor of a certain age, too! I utterly loved that Brooks created this twist in Tamsyn as a person because it definitely provided a deeper, richer layer in her closeted character. Because of her decision to choose her career first from the start, Tamsyn found herself having zero experience in romance or relationships. Whereas, Maggie was facing a different kind of dilemma. Falling in love with her teen crush? Not just that but finding out that Tamsyn was desperately closeted? Maggie was the opposite of Tamsyn when it came to living her life. She was out and proud, living her truth, being herself and after a couple of failed relationships, she was adamant not to settle for anything less especially now that she was reaching half a century of her life.

    In essence, neither Tamsyn nor Maggie was looking for love, much less a serious relationship. Just when these two souls were at a crossroads in their lives, voila! Cupid’s arrow shot right into their hearts! Well, as we know, when Cupid strikes, there’s really nothing one can do stop its trajectory, is there? I loved Tamsyn and Maggie’s chemistry. Brooks deftly built it up from the ground up, describing effectively its initial tentativeness when they ran into each other in the beginning, gradually increasing its intensity as their friendship blossomed. I could feel this undeniable pull they had of each other. Despite Tamsyn being a hopelessly closet case and Maggie’s insistence about not getting involved with a closet lesbian, they both unwittingly got caught up in the moment of desire and passion that they couldn’t fight anymore fuelled by the realisation that they were in a place of seclusion, safely tucked away from the real world. Hence, a mutual agreement about a no-strings affair was struck whilst they were still in the “dream world,” so to speak. Just when feelings and emotions fell deeper into both women’s psyche, it was time for them to face the harsh reality of the real world. The world where Tamsyn was safely hidden in her solitary closet, playing her famous actor self and Maggie was just a total stranger she never met. How depressingly, annoyingly pitiful, innit?

    Anyway, Part Two of the story was all about waking up and smelling the real world. I liked that Brooks divided the story into these two contrasting worlds for Maggie and Tamsyn. This way, as a reader, I was able to enjoy the romance of serendipity between these two souls bound together in desire, passion and growing love (?) spent in suspension of disbelief in the “dream world” first before exploring the harsh reality of the “real world” that Tamsyn and Maggie had to return to in the second half of the book. In other words, Brooks’ deliberate story division, imo, had effectively highlighted the dichotomy between such contrasting physical and emotional experiences – living and loving freely vs living in loveless, soulless existence, bound in chains – so I, as a reader, was able to feel and empathise with Tamsyn’s growing anguish about her lifelong, self-imposed exile from her true self effectively depriving herself from finding true love and happiness, as she realised she could no longer hide behind her façade any longer. Brooks nailed all the nuances of someone chronically closeted slowly coming to terms with the inevitability of coming out to finally live her truth at that precise point in time, with affecting results.

    I utterly enjoyed reading through Tamsyn’s internal process, her emotional struggle to accept that life without love and truth would never give her any solace. As in any epiphany in life, there’s always a trigger to set the change in motion, isn’t there? For Tamsyn, her watershed moment was undoubtedly Maggie. Maggie, in essence, was her catalyst for taking that life-changing, soul-saving step. Coming out is a cathartic experience, I reckon. It’s a huge, paradigm shift for a closeted person to finally have enough strength and courage to open the closet door and step out into the world with nothing but their truth. Better late than never, innit? Standing up and owing one’s truth doesn’t have a set time or expiry date and age certainly has no bearing at all. It’s all about the soul, the spirit that yearns to be free.

    Whilst Tamsyn was contemplating her coming out process, Brooks aptly delved into the debate about coming out on one’s own accord vs being outed by someone from the LGBT community under the assertion that public figures coming out would only help young people struggling with their homosexuality feel that it’s ok to be gay. Whilst I’d prefer celebrities, politicians and public figures to live out and proud, I definitely do not condone anyone, especially those especially from our very own community, outing others, regardless of reasons or cause. Coming out, to me, is a personal rite of passage. It’s all about timing and readiness, just like anything else in one’s personal life.

    Speaking of, this was my first time reading a celebrity romance that didn’t incur any usual predictable drama, angst and scandalous rumours and gossip about the MC’s closeted situation. Brooks’ portrayal of Tamsyn’s coming out process – proper planning, timing, coordination with her “people” (PR manager and agent, obvs!) and her mates, and also Maggie and her family – was told without any fanfare. It’s refreshing to read about a celebrity coming out process in a romance depicted in a more positive light without resorting to the otherwise usual angst and drama manufactured around the story of the protagonists in the trope just to heighten the torment, you know what I mean?

    My favourite moment of the story was the scene when Maggie realised Tamsyn was standing before her instead of someone else (in a brilliantly written ruse, which I thought was really creative and original. You just have to read it for yourself!), the moment when Tamsyn quietly uttered, “Hi,” was one of the most sensually described scenes I’d read. It was sizzling with deep, undeniable passion and desire laced with yearning that oozed erotic, just from visual image produced from Brooks’ description of that singular moment with one simple, whispered word. I was struck by the genuine emotions that epitomised the moment of truth between these lovestruck characters when Tamsyn finally poured her heart out about her true emotions and feelings that she had denied herself from about Maggie. Maggie’s reaction was absolutely spot-on and I was relieved! This scene was, imo, the beginning of the rest of Tamsyn and Maggie’s journey.

    Since Tamsyn and Maggie’s characters were practical, realistic and grounded, Brooks weaved every stage toward their ultimate reunion, post-revelation, with heartfelt results that yielded a sense of authenticity.  The phrase, “It takes a village,” was never truer in Brooks’ utterly genuine storytelling of Tamsyn and Maggie’s love story. You simply have to read it to find out, which you will also discover all the fun bits about Maggie’s own mini “coming out,” in the midst of all their dramatic romance! I must say, I loved Maggie and Ruth’s scenes. Brooks’ written dialogue between them were so genuine, open and honest, I truly believed they were siblings!

    All in all, I enjoyed every bit of this later-in-life coming out story involving a famous celebrity and how Tamsyn’s process was methodical, composed, and practical, and her journey was shared with Maggie all throughout, which I thought was what made this story evermore realistic, relatable, and heartfelt. It’s really different from all the other celebrity romances I’ve read, thusfar. And I appreciated the fact that Brooks took this route to tell her story in this trope, not to mention, the “before and after” experience that both Tamsyn and Maggie, specifically the former, went through in their journey of soul-searching, finding themselves and letting go of their old selves, before finally sealing their love forever. Read it and you’ll see what I mean. I’d recommend this book to all fans of this trope and romance as a whole.

    *An ARC copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

  3. Carrie


    I have never read anything by this author before. After liking this one so much, I’m going to go hunt down some of her other books.

    Tamsyn bloody Harris is a 50+ famous actress who has to go on a solo retreat to calm down after lashing out at her director for ageism. There, she meets author Maggie, who helps her calm down (if-you-know-what-I-mean). Tamsyn has had flings before, but there is just something about this woman that has her all confused inside. BUT IT JUST CANNOT BE. Why? Because the main starlet is obvs in the closet due to her career!

    I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying! Right smack in the middle, I almost had an emotional breakdown. Pretty sure I felt like there was no purpose in life for a bit. But then there was Part 2 and it breathed life back into my soul again.

    There were quite a few steamy scenes as you would expect with a book centered around a holiday fling. They were written with enough emotion and story embedded that they didn’t bother me so much.

    I wasn’t on board for how big of a fan Maggie was described to be. And I’m not sure that drama with Tamsyn’s actress friend was necessary.

    I recommend this book to those who love romance, the U.K., crying, holidays, heartbreak, cottages, angst, celebrities, flings, and fish pie.

    I received an ARC from YLVA Publishing for an honest review

  4. Betty Harmon


    I really enjoyed reading Write Your Own Script by A.L Brooks. This is a contemporary romance about two women in their late forties and early fifties; both of them successful in their own lives, and both going through a crisis of sorts. British actress Tamsyn Harris, at fifty-two has reached that awful time in her career, often called the dead zone, when she is no longer being automatically offered the starring roles often given to younger actresses, but is not old enough to get the equally big roles for more mature celebrities. She feels she has to work twice as hard just to keep to the job level she is used to. She must also keep secret the fact that she is a lesbian, a truth she has managed to hide for over thirty years. Maggie Cooper is an award winning author battling a major case of burn out. Both women decide to take a few weeks vacation in a secluded area to regroup and think through their problems. What they end up finding is each other.
    Both characters are very well written. They both feel real. You can see they are mature and successful in their lives. You can see their good points and their faults. I really like reading about characters that are not perfect. In fact, there were several places in the book where I wanted to just smack Tamsyn upside the head and tell her to open her eyes and see what she was doing.
    I also like how the author wrote this book in two parts. The first part deals with the characters when they were in their retreat, and the second part of the novel takes place after they both return to their “real” lives. Each part has a different feel to it, and both parts complement each other. It was the perfect way to handle this story.
    If you love a good romance with strong, mature characters, you will want to read this story.

    I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.

  5. stephasselin


    Emmy winner Tamsyn Harris knows her way around a set since she’s been working on them most of her life. When a situation takes a different turn than expected, and work is taking its toll on her, she ends up taking some time off in a reclused area. Enters Maggie Cooper, a known writer who hasn’t been able to write new books for a while, who also happens to need a little time away from the world.

    After one meeting turns into many, and friendship blossom between them, how will they handle going back to real life surrounded by curious souls?

    I must thank A.L. Brooks for giving me a book to read that put an end into the ‘’not so good ‘’ ones I’ve been reading lately. I needed it.

    From the title, I was expecting Maggie to finish the book by writing a script to something (movie or else) in which Tamsyn would end up playing. Thankfully, it wasn’t what happens, but it still would’ve been a great option in my opinion.

    Like her previous books, this one is filled with great moments and great chemistry between the characters. I loved the fact that Tamsyn wasn’t known as a lesbian and the surprise it creates between them. Also, the interactions between Maggie, who really loves Tamsyn as an actress and has seen all the projects she ever worked on, but who also respects her limits and boundaries.

    I would suggest this read to anyone looking for a fast and enjoyable read from start to finish.

  6. Karola


    ***free ARC
    Although the story isn‘t new (famous actress in the closet is afraid of coming out), the way A. L. Brooks is telling this story is very good. So far I liked all of her books, including this one. I liked the easy reading, no complicated scenes or descriptions and Gizmo the dog is a fun add, too. If you like a love story with some sexy scenes then you have to read this book.

  7. petra


    I have read author A.L Brooks before and enjoyed her style of writing. You’re able to get into the rhythm of the story straight (pardon the pun) away. This book is no different in the sense that the storyline is strong and the main characters are well developed.
    Tamsyn and Maggie are likeable, strong, funny well round characters who with their own hang ups and mannerisms find a way to each other.
    I look forward to reading more from this author.

  8. Ameliah Faith


    The Actress & The Author
    I love actress stories and this one is better than most for several reasons. Its sexy, hot, sweet, lusty, lovely, the other lead is a secret romance writer and best of all the MCs are in their late 40s and early 50s. This book has great writing, loads of emotion and excellent descriptions that make a lasting impression. Tamsyn and Maggie are so into each other! Their relationship is tender and intense and the drama is simply wonderful. This story is perfect for the romance junkie I am!

  9. Velvet Lounger


    4.5 stars

    Great story, well paced, with interesting characters and good emotional depth. Loved the location, the cottages and isolation provided a lovely backdrop to the story and the seclusion made for a strongly emotive setting.

    The gradual interaction and engagement between the characters made a refreshing change from the normal insta-romance, as did the maturity of the characters and their need for personal development and growth to get to a place they could both ‘come-out’ of seclusion.

    Well written, thoroughly enjoyable read and highly recommended.

  10. payanke_



    That’s in exchange of an honest review that I received an ARC of « Write Your Own Script » from Ylva (Thank you for that) …

    So, here it is !!

    The story focuses on Tamsyn Harris a successful, worl famous, very closeted 52 years old veteran actress who must struggle to avoid being outed but also to stay at the top , and Maggie Cooper, well-known, successful & award-winning 49 years old author but who writes under 2 pen names – one for her mainstream historical fiction books and the other for her lesbian fiction novels. She’s an out lesbian but, despite being equally famous and successful in that market, she’s closeted about writing lesbian fictions because she fears a backlash against her mainstream bestselling books…Maggie has a crush on Tamsyn since her teen age … They meet while being both in a retreat in Norfolk where they can both have well needed « alone time » … Tamsyn following an on-set incident (which happened while fighting an umpteenth attack of ageism) and Maggie trying to resolve her writter’s block . Both need to focus on what really matters in their life .. their meeting will spice the equation .. ‘cause they now need to determine if it’s their careers or the perspective of a relationship and true love…

    My rating : 3.5 ⭐️

    The PROS :
    ° The title … it makes a lot of sense in more than one way
    ° The fact that both MCs are practical, realistic and grounded middle-aged women (… who stayed natural !!!)
    ° The inner battles the MCs both need to lead against themselves to make their respective coming out (even if Maggie isn’t in « “that” kind of closet » ..) and be able to truly be themselves once and for all …
    ° The the coming out issue : Should it be a personal decision or, like in the novel, the result of the choice of some LGBT activists (more « extremists » if you ask me) who think it could be « good for the cause »?? Of course from my POV, since I’ve been outed myself (by my own straight twin sister at a period when I was far from being ready …), I can only say this : Everyone should be able to « Write Their Own Script » !!! Seriously, it’s a personal matter (and only this !!). Even if it’s complicated and takes time, NOONE has the right to decide for you about such a personal thing (no matter the excuse they give to explain their act), you need to do this at your own pace, in your own terms and only when you feel ready… 💜💙💚💛🧡❤️
    ° The change of scenery is highly appreciated since I’m more used to read some novels located in the US and Australia …and also because it reminded me my own trips in the UK and how beautiful it is over there …
    ° The deep chemistery between the MCs and the hot lovemaking scenes … (Ok I confess, sometimes I wondered if I was reading an erotic novel instead of a romance … LOL)
    ° the little touches of subtile humor.
    ° Gizmo … I think he’s the strongest, funniest and more likeable secondary character in the novel (without forgetting lil Snakey, of course !!) … He is an anchor first for Maggie only but quickly becomes one for Tamsyn as well even if she isn’t aware of that until their break …

    The CONS 😞 :

    ° The 8 months gap the MCs were appart. Think it would have been interesting to know more about what really happened to them once they left their retreat …
    ° The lack of a proper epilogue => It could have been great to know a bit more about all the repercutions that Tamsyn’s coming out had in the daily life of all the characters (including the likeable or not secondary ones) … And what about Maggie’s career ?? She had to say goodbye to a pen name and, seeemingly create a new one for the crime genre she wanted to try … but what about her Maddie Jones pen name …She was supposed to come out about her … And since she’s a weel know author + the fact that her latest novel was clearly based on their own story, logically Tamsyn’s couming out would probably have increase the sells of the novel, right ?? Not having those information gives the feeling that the novel is not really finished (I didn’t see « The End » written BTW …) and it’s quite frustrating …
    ° Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud that some products from my motherland have such notoriety all around the world and, yeah, some brands are pretty good (I appreciate a flute from time to time when the brand is one of the few I can actually drink without having some painful muscular cramps …) BUT … seriously … I wonder why some people seem to be obsessed with champagne … => Tamsyn’s pronounced taste for this beverage+ the fact she drinks champagne almost every single day, not only when she host or meet someone for job but even when she’s alone at home (even after a « sober diner » in a restaurant), it shows her more like an alcoholic than a distinguished & refined lady …

    Also in the cons (I think the 2 following points are the result of my beta reader status — not for this author) :
    ° Some words and expressions must be the author’s favorite. It’s great to have some beloved wording but it becomes a bit annoying / boring for the reader (aka me in this case … and maybe some others too) when a few of them come back regularly in the novel. Think using some synonyms would have been better ( and much appreciated ,at least by myself)
    ° That’s not’ the 1st time I read some novel in which « bloody » is used (usually as an enhancer …) … When it’s used with parcimony (so, just a couple times all the novel long) it doesn’t bother me more than that but when it’s used on too numerous occasions like in this book (and it’s not even the worst book I’ve read with this wording issue…), I can’t even begin to tell you how it gets on my nerves. Seriously, the characters (because of their education, their jobs and status)are supposed to have what I’d call « a pure and distinguished English from Great Britain » but they regularly express themsselves in an even less refine way than a jackaroo using slang Aussie English …

    If I had to make a very short and quite different version of my review it’d be something like this :
    Did I enjoy this book? => Yes, globally…
    Did I find the characters believable in their situations and actions? => Yes
    Is this book now included in my « must be re-read »-list? => Not for now ..
    Will I purchase the paperback? => Maybe, someday …
    Would I read another book by this author? => Yes …
    Would I recommend this book => Yes … to all the celebrity and/or middle-aged women and/or late coming out stories fans

    OK .. Guys and gals, since you have to make your own opinion … Grab your own copy & enjoy (or not) your reading …


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