Rebecca Brooks

Read more about Rebecca Brooks.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: March 20, 2017

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Hi Rebecca, a.k.a. Hiker Extraordinaire. All of us at Night Owl Reviews appreciate your stopping by for a visit. Tell us about your new book, MAKE ME BEG.

I’m delighted to be here! MAKE ME BEG is the second book in my Men of Gold Mountain series set in a remote ski village in the breathtakingly beautiful Cascade Mountains of Washington. But each of the series’ books is a standalone, so Night Owls can pick up MAKE ME BEG and not miss a beat. Most of the action in MAKE ME BEG takes place in the local hangout called The Dipper—although, trust me, there are some bone-melting scenes in the great outdoors as well.

MAKE ME BEG finds the smart, sassy bartender Mack Ellinsworth and the ripped and rugged cook, Connor Branding, who loves to give her a hard time, finally confronting the heat that has been simmering between these two for years. And the heat is hotter ‘n the fired-up stove in The Dipper’s kitchen.

First, a little background on them. Connor’s been a love ‘em and leave ‘em kind a guy as long as Mack has known him. She had her fill of abandonment early in life and refuses to become one more notch on Connor’s bedpost. But when The Dipper’s owner decides to give the rustic bar a makeover to boost its declining business, she lets Mack and Connor decide what décor, menu and image the local hangout should take. Educated as a chef, Connor insists The Dipper should become a first class restaurant with gourmet dishes he would create. And Mack? She likes The Dipper just the way it is, because it reminds her of the watering hole that became her home and refuge when a kindly bar owner rescued her from the streets when she was a young teen. In her mind, all The Dipper needs is a little sprucing up, a fresh menu of drinks and a new sign outside. But even if they can’t agree on anything for the new bar, they can’t deny their chemistry—and it’s not long before all those late nights working turn into more!

And to promote MAKE ME BEG, you’re running a My Favorite Bar Contest!

Yes—and thanks for promoting it here on Night Owl Reviews! To enter, all readers have to do is tell me in 75 words or less about their favorite bar/hangout, past or present, in a Facebook or Instagram post. I want to know why it’s their favorite bar. They have to include the hashtag #MakeMeBegContest in their post. A photo is welcome but not required, excerpt on Instagram, because, well, it’s Instagram. I have a team of judges ready to pick their top five favorites among the “entries,” and then readers will select the winner by voting on a special page of my website. The grand prize will be a $100 VISA gift card. I figure the winner can host a night out for their friends at their current favorite bar or hangout. The deadline to enter is March 31 2017 at 11:59 p.m. All you Night Owls, go do this right now! I can’t wait to read your posts!

So what is your favorite bar?

I don’t spend all that much time hanging out in bars, but there are two spots in New York with great, extensive beer lists that I love. They’re perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon after going to a museum or doing some writing at the library. For special occasions I also have a weakness for fancy cocktails, and I love finding new places to try.

But my absolute favorite bar is probably my living room couch. Going out is fun, but curling up at home in comfy clothes while my mixologist spouse whips up something he knows I’ll like is kind of the best.

Are others in your family writers?

One of my cousins is a television writer in Los Angeles. She currently works as an assistant and is making her way in the field. I remember getting together with my extended family on Cape Cod when I was in graduate school, so overworked and lamenting that I didn’t have any time for my own writing because everything went to teaching and academic work. My cousin, who was eighteen, going into her senior year in college, spent almost the entire vacation sitting by the pool with her laptop, working on a screenplay. She knew she wanted to be a writer, so she was writing. When I said I didn’t have time to write, she made an offhand comment about how she made time because it was important to her. Um, schooled by an 18-year-old. Because she was right. The following year, I committed to writing my first novel by writing an hour a day, no more and no less. I didn’t go back and reread what I’d written the day before—I just forged on, trying to keep the momentum going. That novel is never coming out of a drawer, but it showed me that I could find even a little bit of time every day for writing if it was important to me. I really admire her commitment, and I can’t wait to see what great things she writes!

My mom is writing poetry after a thirty-year hiatus. And my dad’s sister is a professor of international development, so I grew up seeing her books on our shelves. It’s really nice to have people in my life who understand what it takes to sit down and write every day.

We hear you love to hike. Does your husband go with you?

A lot of times—and I also hike solo and with my dad. My husband and I went to Switzerland for our honeymoon and hiked in the Alps, which is something we’d both love to do again. We went to Vermont last summer and are heading to the Adirondacks this summer for more mountain adventures closer to home.

What are some of your favorite hiking memories?

I could talk forever about the starry sky when I hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro, about how it feels to be looking down on clouds, the mind-blowing rock formations of the American southwest, or hiking in a T-shirt and shorts and surrounded by snow.

What’s some advice you have for people who’d like to take on hiking as a hobby?

Don’t forget the secret weapon—sugar! When my dad and I were hiking in Nepal, it was hard. I was young. It was a completely new experience for me, and I was really tired. I also had a hard time with the altitude. Then my dad pulled out his secret weapon: Sweet Tarts! I don’t even like candy very much, but after being sweaty, tired, dusty and having had a lot of bland food, something about how sharp and sweet that candy is did the trick. While it’s important to hike with extra food, water, a compass, a first aid kit and warm layers, don’t forget the sugar!

Besides hiking, are there other things you like to do for recreation?

I love to read, go for long walks, explore New York City, have picnics, sit in parks, people watch, swim and kayak and go to art museums in New York. (My favorites are the Met, the Cloisters, the New York Historical Society and the Natural History Museum). I also like to have living room dance parties, host pot luck brunches and dinners with friends, find bookstores and cafes in random small towns, and sleep as much as possible!

It doesn’t sound like you sleep much!

My bed is a glue trap, and it’s hard to pull myself away! I’m always a little slow getting going in the morning, no matter how much sleep I’ve gotten. But eventually I do get up, and then I’m ready to sit down and get to work.

What’s a typical day like for you? Are you an early riser? A night owl?

If left to my own devices, I’d probably be writing all night, but I try to have the same work schedule as my husband. I get up around 7 or 8. I usually make a to-do list or game plan for the day. This typically includes email, marketing and promo and my writing goal for the day. I work out every weekday, usually in the mid to late morning. I usually write in the afternoon. My husband gets home around 5:30 or 6 every night, so that’s when I stop, and we make dinner together. I try not to write at night because I find it makes it harder for me to fall asleep.

Do you have a sinful indulgence?

I like snobby craft beers and have a huge weakness for dark chocolate. Like the really fancy, ridiculous, expensive, single-origin stuff you just want to savor. I like it with a lot of flavor and not too sweet. Before my husband and I started dating, he invited me over to his place to make dinner. For dessert he’d gotten these fancy pants ganaches with Madagascar chocolate that you can’t even find in New York anymore, and let’s just say that are 100 percent why I decided dating him would be an excellent idea. Anyone with that kind of taste in chocolate was my kind of man!

Tell us what book you’re working on now.

Make Me Beg is the second Men of Gold Mountain book, so right now I’m hard at work on the rest of the series. Make Me Stay, book 1, is available now, so after you read Connor and Mack’s story, you can go back and find out how Connor’s best friend, Austin, heats up the ski slopes with the investor who’s leading the renovation of Mack and Connor’s bar. The next book, Make Me Want, is about Mack’s best friend, Abbi, and a smoking hot wildland firefighter who’s the best kind of trouble. To find out when it’s out later this year, readers should definitely make sure they’re on my Mailing List and following me online so as not to miss out!

You sound like a fascinating person, Rebecca. Where can Night Owls connect with you?

I’ll be at the RT Booklovers’ Convention in Atlanta May 3-6, and I enjoy interacting with readers on Facebook. Come see me either place, and don’t forget to enter the My Favorite Bar Contest! My Facebook Page!

Thanks for stopping by to visit with the Night Owls.

Thank you so much for having me!