Great to have you back again. I hear that you have a brand new contemporary romance story that just dropped onto shelves on July 20, 2018. What inspired your book “Above All” and the Heart of the Adirondacks series?
Thank you so much for having me! I first came up with the idea for Above All when I was finishing my dissertation. Not very sexy, but I ended the acknowledgements thanking my husband “above all.” I was worried it wasn’t enough—how do you thank someone for such a huge amount of support?!? But he was so touched and said that of course he’s my “above all.” AWW!
His reaction got me thinking about a woman who’s looking for the man who’s going to be hers “above all.” What would she want? What would keep her from getting it? Also, it’s definitely not a coincidence that the story begins with Casey escaping a PhD program in NYC, where I live and went to school, and leaves it all behind. I didn’t do anything like that, alas. But I love to hike and go out adventures, so I was obviously indulging in my own fantasy about leaving it all behind when I came up with her character!
What can readers expect from your hero Ben Mailer?
Two words: FOOD PORN.
Ben is in culinary school where he’s studying fine dining—at his father’s insistence. But his real dream is to be a pastry chef. He’s eight years younger than the heroine, but that doesn’t for a second give him pause. I love how passionate and energetic he is—he cares so much about Casey, and even if he stumbles sometimes as he’s learning how to show it, his heart is always in the right place. He’s sexy, sweet, and caring. In a world full of alphaholes, Ben is the kind of guy you’d actually want to date.
When can we expect more out from the Heart of the Adirondacks series?
Above All is a standalone that’s all about the happily ever after. When I wrote it, I thought that was it. But the Adirondack Mountains kept calling to me, and I wound up writing a shorter novelette about the single mom who becomes a manager at Ben’s café. That story used to be called BLACKBERRIES IN THE MORNING, but I retitled it HIS HANDS and released it on the same day as ABOVE ALL for only 99 cents!
HIS HANDS is a standalone about a single mom and the silver fox who’s passing through town…but might just wind up sticking around past morning. Casey and Ben come back to play a role, too. :)
What’s it like living in the city that never sleeps (NYC)?
Just because the city never sleeps doesn’t mean that I have any trouble saying no to a nap, LOL. I’m from outside Boston originally, but I’ve lived in NYC for twelve years. I love it here! I love to travel, and NYC fulfills that part of me that’s always eager to try something new—whether it’s a museum, a show, a restaurant, or just a place to walk around that I’ve never been before. I also love that even though there’s so much to do in the city, there are also mountains, lakes, and the ocean nearby. I never run out of writing inspiration!
Do you have any plans for New Year’s 2020?
Okay this is really nerdy…but every year on New Year’s Eve, my husband and I stay home, cook, and watch a film of a Shakespeare play. We did it the first year we were dating and it was so much fun, and it took the pressure off of finding something “cool” to do. Sometimes we’ve talked about going to a party or meeting up with friends, but we always decide that we want to keep up our special tradition instead!
“Above All” looks to be your first self-published title. What was it like breaking out on your own? What are your plans for the future? Full self-publishing or hybrid?
Above All is actually a rerelease of my debut novel, which came out with Ellora’s Cave in July 2014. For those of you who know your romance publishing history, that was exactly three weeks before the news broke that Ellora’s Cave was going out of business. I thought my career was over before it began! Thankfully, that wasn’t the case and I went on to publish five titles with Entangled, with another four-book series on its way. But I finally decided, in between my Entangled releases, that it was time to get Above All off of my computer and out into the world again.
I was pretty intimidated by the whole process. What if I totally failed? Then I laid eyes on the cover and fell in love with my book all over again. I knew in that moment that it was the right move to self-publish this book, and that I could do it.
Being hybrid is the perfect combination, so for now I plan on sticking that way!
What can readers expect from a Rebecca Brooks title?
Rugged heroes, dirty talk, outdoor sex in gorgeous locations, and a feeling of adventure and possibility. The journey to happily ever after is always about the hero and heroine figuring out who they are what they want, both together and as individuals. I want readers to laugh out loud, shed some tears, get all hot and bothered, and have that damn-that-felt-good satisfaction by the end!
Who’s your all-time favorite romance author?
I’ll read anything Victoria Dahl writes. Anything. She’s one of the first contemporary romance authors I really got into. I’d always wanted to be a writer, but her books played a big role in inspiring me to write romance in particular. Reading her books broke a lot of the stereotypes I think I had in my own mind about the romance genre, and not a minute too soon!
Do you have any trips planned?
I always love to travel! This summer I’m spending a month in Vermont. My husband is a poet and we’re having a DIY writing retreat so we can both start new books—and hike, and swim, and kayak, and hopefully do a little relaxing, too. I’m fantasizing about an international adventure in 2019, but no solid plans yet. I’m dreaming about Belize, though…I love to snorkel. I always share pictures and stories about my trips in my newsletter, so sign up and stay tuned to find out where I go!
What’s your favorite season… and why?
Ack, that’s almost as hard as picking a favorite author! I guess I’ll go with fall. I’m always ready for the summer heat to break, and I get to look forward to winter and ski season but without the reality of cold, gray, slushy days to bring me down. The foliage in the northeast is so beautiful, it’s the perfect time to be outside.
Have you bought any new geeky t-shirts this year? Any that have stood out?
Did you already know how much I love geeky t-shirts? I was raised vegetarian and I’m not going to publicly admit how many shirts I have been gifted that feature cartoons of tofu in some form or fashion, LOL. I also have one with a robot making donuts, one with zombies, and one with a giraffe with an eye patch that’s riding a shark (that one is a personal favorite). I’m on the hunt for a cool dinosaur shirt. Lmk if you find one!
Thanks again for sharing your life and experiences with us.
Thank you so much for having me!