Cara Brookins
Author, Motivational Speaker, & Single Mother of Four

Cara Brookins is the author of Rise: How a House Built a Family, an extraordinary true story of a woman taking the greatest risk of her life in order to heal from the unthinkable. After escaping an abusive marriage, Cara had four children to provide for and no one to turn to but herself. In desperate need of a home but without the means to buy one, she did something incredible. Equipped only with YouTube instructional videos, a small bank loan and a mile-wide stubborn streak, she built her own house from the foundation up with a work crew made up of her four children. Together they designed the house, framed it, ran the plumbing and gas lines, and mortared blocks with their hands. It would be the hardest thing she had ever done. With no experience nailing together anything bigger than a bookshelf, she and her kids poured concrete, framed the walls and laid bricks for their two story, five bedroom house. She had convinced herself that if they could build a house, they could rebuild their broken family.


Building something big enough to change the way she and her kids saw themselves gave Cara the idea that other people could do exactly the same thing. While their big thing may not be a house, taking a leap toward a better life is exactly the right move for everyone.


Cara is a computer analyst and social media marketing expert and the author of seven middle grade and young adult novels. She continues to build new things through her fiction. She motivates businesses, writers, and parenting groups to take enormous leaps toward their goals and to build impossible things.


Cara grew up in Wisconsin and now lives in Arkansas with her four children, Hope, Drew, Jada, and Roman.


You can  read the opening of Rise and view photos of Cara and her kids building their house.


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St. Martin’s Press

After escaping an abusive marriage, Cara Brookins had four children to provide for and no one to turn to but herself. In desperate need of a home but without the means to buy one, she did something incredible.

#raisemyroof Cara blows the roof off your goals by insisting you do something impossible. She never imagined she'd be able to build a house, and yet after watching some videos and enlisting her kids as her crew, she found a way to do so. The only way to change your path is to shock yourself and everyone around you into a bigger vision of who you are. Want an impossibly BIG future? Cara takes no excuses. No Delays. No quitters.

Read Cara’s blog

Follow Cara on Twitter

Download Cara’s media kit

Read People‘s story about the Brookins family

Watch Cara’s appearance on The Today Show

Read Do South Magazine‘s write-up on Cara and Rise

Read Publishers Weekly‘s review of Rise

Read Buzzfeed’s profile of Cara and her family

Read the NYT Women of the World story on Cara and the building of Inkwell Manor

Check out USA Today‘s coverage of Cara’s family’s story

Read the CBS News piece on the Brookins family

Advance praise for Rise:

"A tough, honest memoir. Brookins deftly narrates the extreme learning curve her family experienced while putting a family back together again."
Publishers Weekly

"Cara Brookins did something remarkable with her life: She turned trauma into power and fear into courage. She refused to be a victim anymore. In powerful ways, her extraordinary memoir, Rise, tells the story of her resurrection from victim of domestic abuse to bad-ass mom with a hammer and carpenter’s square. You will be enlightened. You will be inspired. You will cheer her on as she builds a new home and a new life for herself and her four children — one brick at a time."
— John Grogan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Marley & Me

"Sometimes the universe puts us in a bad place and dares us to fight our way out. Cara Brookins did just this. We should all be as strong as her. This book will provide the powerful imagery and guidance for a generation of people who need to change their lives."
— Tom Hart, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rosalie Lightning