LASR Anniversary: Rebecca Brooks – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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What You Get Is…
By Rebecca Brooks

Growing up in Massachusetts I’ve had some crazy climbs up Mt. Washington, the tallest peak in the Northeast and site of some of the worst weather in the world. I got caught there in a snowstorm when I was sixteen and lay awake all night in a three-walled shelter halfway up as the snow piled on my sleeping bag. I summited in the fall when the peak was so fogged I had no idea where to step. Once it was so windy the trail across the ridge at the top was closed.

On the worst hike of my life I literally sobbed on the side of Washington’s steepest ravine. A storm had rolled in fast and I was in the middle of a sheer stretch of rocks, the kind you have to scramble up on all fours while balancing a heavy pack on your back. Slick sheets of rain turned the rocks into slip-n-slides and froze me to the bone. I’m five foot nothing and was already struggling to reach the hand- and footholds in the rocks. The only thing that kept me going up was the fact that I couldn’t slide down.

So you’d think I really, really hate this mountain.

But there was one time I climbed it in the summer, and the summer changes everything. I’ve done a lot of hikes in a lot of different places—the Alps, the Andes, the Himalayas, Kilimanjaro. But Mt. Washington is one of the best. You never know what you’re going to get, and sometimes what you get is perfect.

The day started off clear and blue. I picked a lesser-used route up the back, following a steep ascent that snaked along a rushing stream the whole time. I didn’t run into a soul. All I heard was the music of the birds and the music of the water, the wind in the trees, the great big silence that’s why we go out into the mountains at all.

I’d only planned to go as far as the Lake of the Clouds, a small stamp of water above the tree line and before the final ascent. But the weather was a miracle and I couldn’t turn back. Even though it was summer at the base, it was still winter at the top. The whole peak was covered in rime, a white ice that forms when water droplets caught in fog freeze on surfaces. I put extra hiking socks on my hands for gloves and pushed one foot in front of the other, embracing the cold. Every few steps I looked out at the view.

There’s a color that you get when you’re high up and the green of distant peaks fades into the purple horizon and the blue ring of sky. I don’t know what the color should be called but I know it when I see it and it reminds me of why I do things that are hard: write, hike, love.

Someday I want to be up there when it’s warm enough to actually swim in the Lake of the Clouds. But for now, when I think of summer, I think of hiking. And when I think of my favorite hikes I think of that view, the endless blue, the white rime ice, New England laid out at my feet.

It’s no coincidence that I made the best hikes in ABOVE ALL take place in the summer. What better way to get a sweaty young chef to tear off his shirt and dive in a lake? What better time for an artist to be outside and feeling alive? The novel follows the seasons, tracking a year and a half in a small town in the mountains of upstate New York. But it’s the summer when the characters put their fears aside and fall in love. When they’re too scared and it feels too hard, they know some day it will be summer again.

What are your favorite places to be in the summer? Leave a comment and be automatically entered into a raffle to win a free copy of ABOVE ALL and be transported to the Adirondacks in the spring, summer, winter, and fall.

rebecca brooks Above-All-Cover (2)Reeling from a sudden breakup, Casey Webb leaves Brooklyn, drives north and settles in a sleepy mountain town in upstate New York. She’s convinced she’s happy being alone—until she reads the acknowledgments in her ex-boyfriend’s hit debut novel, thanking his new girlfriend “above all”.

Good thing Ben Mailer is in town. The hot, young Brooklyn-bound chef offers the perfect distraction, and soon Casey is having the best sex of her life—on a mountain, in the lake, all over her cozy cabin. But as their weekend fling turns into something more, the demands of Ben’s family and budding career make moving to her idyllic town impossible.

Now Casey must decide what she can’t live without—her life in the mountains or the man she wants as hers. Smart, sweet and blisteringly hot, Above All is about getting lost…and finding yourself right where you belong.

About the Author: Rebecca Brooks rebecca-018 copy (2)Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind to try something new—and find the passion, excitement and purpose they didn’t know they’d been missing.

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  1. I’ve done the Cog Railway and watched fog roll into the valleys far far below and away. That’s the closest I’ve come to a Mt. Washington adventure and that’s fine with me. LOLOL

    Although, I do remember inadvertently teaching a Japanese tourist how to properly say “library” – I was correcting my little one at the time (Lie-berry) and the next thing I hear, is the tourist repeating it over and over as he got off of the train. li brrrr ary … 😉
    I love the Kangamangus Highway, or Mt. Killington VT area in the summer.

    Michele / moberlan AT gmail DOT com

  2. SHELLEY S says:


  3. the beach

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  4. John Dorsey says:

    I have a good Mt W story to tell you – maybe at reunion?

  5. With my family in our summer house on the Island of Hvar on Adriatic coast.

  6. Favorite summer spot: Berkshires (first cousin to Adirondacks)!

  7. I love being at the beach in the summer. Tybee Island, Ga is one of my favorite places.

  8. 1And the winner of the giveaway is Michele! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your free copy of Above All!

  9. Wow! Thank you!!! I’m tickled pink! 🙂

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