A New Year’s Eve Romance
Guest Post by Rebecca Brooks
Ah, New Year’s. The crowds, the noise, the ridiculous expense. The inability to feel your toes if you live, like I do, somewhere where winter temps make you want to curl up in pj’s with hot cocoa, not don a LBD and guzzle chilled champagne.
As a kid I remember freezing during First Night in Boston and begging my parents to take me home. Another year my parents were excited to take my brother and me to Trafalgar Square and we, yes, begged to go home. The most fun I remember having on New Year’s Eve when I was young was staying up late playing bingo with my grandparents and drinking Martinelli’s sparkling cider. Which I guess says a lot about me.
Later there would be holidays spent dancing in some warehouse space in Brooklyn, and quieter girl’s nights in with friends, and the New Year’s Eve in which I discovered something more disheartening than the boy you like having a girlfriend, which is the boy you like having a girlfriend and still wanting you for a night.
But there was one New Year’s Eve that was so fun, I decided to write a book about it.
In How to Fall, Julia and Blake celebrate New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They wear all white for good luck, as is the custom, and stay up all night dancing barefoot on the beach. Midnight finds them swimming in the ocean as fireworks burst overhead and then sneaking off to more, ahem, private places. It’s a turning point for both of them as they shed their past selves and embrace a new future together. It’s also a scene I based pretty heavily on my own life and one of my favorite memories.
I rang in 2005 on Copacabana Beach in Rio, wearing a white outfit of which there is hopefully no remaining photographic evidence because I’m sure not sharing it online. I had been studying abroad in Brazil and stayed on after my program ended, and while my travels took me to other parts of the country—including the spectacular waterfalls where Blake and Julia first meet—I wound up in Rio with a handful of friends. No sweeping romance for me, but I’ve always remembered how much fun that night was on the beach. I wanted to capture that sense of excitement and possibility, and show both my characters and readers a seriously good time.
Nowadays my New Year’s Eve plans tend to be quite a bit tamer. When my husband and I first got together we made a vow not only to love and care for one another but to not make ourselves go out and brave New York’s crowds and cold each year. Instead we cook together—something a step up from our usual weeknight fare and definitely involving chocolate—and watch a Shakespeare production on TV. What can I say? We like good food, good art, good bubbly, and even better company.
What are your New Year’s traditions? Doing anything special this year?
One week of adventure might just lead to love…
Julia Evans has always put others ahead of herself—her high school math students, her troubled best friend, and her ex. But with New Year’s approaching, she buys a round trip ticket to Brazil. For one week, she can put her needs first. She can meet a stranger in the hotel pool at midnight and dance all night on the beach.
Screenwriter Blake Williams has to keep moving before Oz’s latest scandal catches up to him. But the dark-haired beauty with a backpack and an adventurous streak is messing with his plans. He can’t seem to walk away from her. But secrets have a way of coming out, and when the week is up, Julia and Blake will have to decide if they’re jumping into the biggest adventure of all or playing it safe.
Buy links (print and e-book):
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/How-Fall-Rebecca-Brooks-ebook/dp/B015WAHKVY?
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 in order to try something new—and find the passion, excitement, and purpose they didn’t even know they’d been missing.