Today we’re talking to Brooke Richmond, the protagonist of the upcoming “Brooke Runs Away,” a Harts Leap romance novella by Carrie Padgett.
Welcome, Brooke! Let’s get right to it. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Did you make it yourself? Do you clean up after yourself or do you have a maid?
Oh, my word, you made me laugh! No, I don’t have a maid. Today, I ate a scrambled egg and avocado toast. I fixed it myself and I cleaned up after myself. I live in my family home, with my older brother and his wife and daughter. My sister-in-law, Anna, runs the house and I must clean up after myself. Calling Anna a clean freak is like saying Chris Pine is average looking.
Do you have a cat? How many? Do you clean the litter boxes every day? Or does your maid clean the litter boxes?
Still no maid, but now you’ve got me curious. How much does it cost to hire a maid, I wonder? Anyway, we have some barn cats on the family farm in Harts Leap, California. It’s a small tourist destination on a lake in the Sierra Nevada, outside Yosemite National Park. We have fruit trees at a slightly lower elevation. We grow apples, peaches, and plums. We’ve recently planted some grape vines, too. So, cats in the barn, no house cats and no litter boxes. See above and you can guess how Anna feels about cats and litter boxes in the house.
Do you go out for lunch or bring a sack lunch? Do you take an extra-long lunch hour without putting it on your timecard?
Goodness, you’re getting personal, aren’t you? Since I’m a teacher, I don’t have time to go out for lunch, and I definitely can’t stretch my lunch break. I bring a sack lunch and usually eat in the teacher’s room with my friend Lauren, or I eat at my desk while grading spelling tests.
How many siblings do you have? Are you close?
I’m the youngest of seven. I have five older brothers, one for every week day, and a sister. My sister left town when she was eighteen and I haven’t been in contact with her since then. I’m closest to my brother Nathan and my brother Jake. I live with Jake and his family in the home we grew up in. Nathan and I have similar personalities and we laugh at the same things, so I’m closer to him than to my other brothers, although I love them too.
Are your parents alive?
My parents have both passed away. My mom died eight years ago of breast cancer. She was diagnosed shortly after my sister, Rachael, left town. I was supposed to go to college on the east coast, but I couldn’t leave with Mom sick and Rachael gone. So I stayed and help care for Mom and went to the local college and got a teaching credential. My dad died very suddenly of a heart attack just a few weeks ago.
Do you like to cook? Do you use recipes? Do you eat out every night?
There are only a couple of places to eat out in Harts Leap. Daisy’s Café, the Brookside Inn dining room, and the Lodgepole Diner. Anna and I have an arrangement. I cook and do the dishes two nights a week. She cooks three nights a week and I clean up. The other two nights, we all find leftovers or go to the café. I enjoy cooking. I like finding random things in the refrigerator and trying to make a good meal. I’ve had some great successes and some epic fails. The problem with this process though, is that the successes are impossible to duplicate. I’ve served some amazing meals that I will never be able to taste again.
Are you married? Divorced? How many times have you been married?
I’m unmarried, and have never been married. This is starting to remind me of the survey—I mean application—I filled out before I was asked to be on the reality show Date My Son! I’ve moved recently to Southern California and I went out for coffee one Saturday morning. A man handed me a survey. Or what I thought was a survey. It had all kinds of random questions like these. I filled it out and returned it to the pollster. Turns out, the “pollster” was an assistant to the assistant producer and they were having a casting call at the coffee shop. But someone liked what I had to say and I was offered the chance to join the current season.
Do you brush and floss your teeth before you go to bed? Do you use an electric toothbrush and a water pick?
I floss and brush every night with an old-fashioned manual powered toothbrush.
What do you throw into the garbage? Do you recycle?
Well, since I was raised on a farm, we compost and recycle.
Tell us some more about that dating show.
I’m sure you’ve seen it. Date My Son! is different from the other dating shows because the bachelor’s mother gets a vote and has a pretty big part in choosing who stays and who leaves. It was something I never thought I’d do. I mean, how many women from small mountain towns are asked to date in public view? Talk about crazy and overwhelming. But it was also fun and I made some wonderful friends. I mean it was crazy enough, but then my brother Nathan came to visit and the producers decided to shake things up and Nathan ended up staying as a second bachelor. Talk about a twist!
Do you honk at the car in front of you if they didn’t see the light turn green?
I give them a good five seconds. If they’re still on their phone or looking at the scenery, I give a short beh-beep. Just to remind them, you know, “Hey pay attention, it’s time to go!”
Thank you, Brooke, for stopping by today. I look forward to reading about your dating show adventure!
Thanks for having me. I think I actually learned a few things about myself!