Kristina Mathews doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until 2010 that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing romance novels.
While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, Parent Club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.
Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.
Kristina will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC plus a digital copy of the book to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so make sure to check out other stops and leave a comment.
The tour dates can be found here:
What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I ever finished was inspired by a dream I had shortly after seeing Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. But that book will never see the light of day. My first published book was inspired by a combination of things. My love of baseball, my dislike of sex scandals involving athletes, and the nickname my husband’s cousin gave him when he was a kid. On a long road trip cousin Mike told my husband he wasn’t really a Mathews, his real name was Johnny Scottsdale. It made him cry, and Mike has called him that ever since. So I thought I’d get revenge by using the name in my book.
How did you come up with the title?
It took a couple of tries to come up with the title. I think I started with Not Just A Game, which is now the title of my blog. Then I tried The Ballplayer’s Perfect Mistake, but it didn’t really work for me. I finally settled on Better Than Perfect, because my hero had pitched a perfect game in his career, he had a sparkling reputation, but it wasn’t until he reunited with the love of his life did he find something better.
If you were a Star Trek or Star Wars character, which one would it be?
I would be Princess Leia. She was one of the first really strong heroines I can remember. She was a princess and a fighter. She was smart and kind and rocked the big buns. I dressed up as her for Halloween when I was in second grade, and when my kids were in second grade, and pretty much anytime I need a last minute costume.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
They usually wake me up in the middle of the night. Or they assault me in the shower. My second book in the series, Worth The Trade, was inspired by Hunter Pence’s trade to the San Francisco Giants.
What was the last movie you went to see?
I honestly don’t remember. We always go to a movie the day after Christmas, and we saw The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. I know I went to see something else since then, though. Maybe it was the second part of The Hobbit. My husband will often take the kids to a movie while I work on my writing.
Top 3 favorite movies
Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, Star Wars(original trilogy)
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part is making the time to write. My family is very supportive but they still need food, clean clothes, and a ride to school, sports, and activities. Throw in a day job that keeps me moving from 8:15 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon, and I have to squeeze my word count in when I can. I’m sure I wrote at least half of Better Than Perfectin my car waiting for baseball practice to end.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love baseball. I spent the least eleven years going to my sons’ Little League games. Sadly, they don’t play anymore. My oldest plays other sports, though—football, skiing, and golf. And he was recruited to join the track team, too. My youngest son is more into building things, playing music and drawing. As a family we like to go on long road trips. We’ve explored many of the National Parks of the U.S. Southwest. We spend a lot of time at our family cabin near Mt. Shasta in Northern California. Someday my husband and I plan on driving all 3,073 miles of U.S. Highway 50 from Sacramento, Ca to Ocean City, MD.
Favorite type of music?
I love country and classic rock, like The Eagles, Tom Petty, Journey, and The Dave Matthews Band. I love music that tells a story. I want to feel something.
How many novels, short stories have you published?
Better Than Perfect is my first published novel. The second book in the More Than A Game series, Worth The Trade, comes out in July.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m working on the third book in the series, tentatively titled Making A Comeback. It features a relief pitcher mentioned in book one and a secondary character from book two. Nathan Cooper was suspended for steroid use and after season-ending surgery finds himself without a team. Annabelle Jones moved to Southern California after her divorce to resurrect her modeling career. When she’s injured in a car accident she must rely on her hunky neighbor, but she doesn’t remember who he is.
The fourth book will pair bad-boy shortstop Bryce Baxter and reporter Rachel Parker who finally get their happily-ever-after.
Is there any additional info you would like to share with your readers about what’s next for you and your books?
Better Than Perfect is the first in what I hope will be a long-running series. I originally signed on with Lyrical Press, a small ePublisher, but in January of this year, Lyrical was acquired by Kensington Books. At first I worried about getting lost in the shuffle, but I think this is going to be a very good thing for me and my books.
Would you share a blurb and excerpt with us from Better Than Perfect?
The woman he left behind and the son he never knew are tougher opponents than any he’s met on the field.
Pitcher Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale has won awards, been named an All-star and has a perfect game to his credit. Known for his legendary control both on and off the field, his pristine public image makes him the ideal person to work with youth players in a preseason minicamp. Except the camp is run by the one woman he can’t forget…the woman who made him a “monk.”
Alice Harrison’s three strikes include an unexpected pregnancy, a marriage of convenience and young widowhood. She once traded her dreams so Johnny could have a chance at making it to the Majors. Johnny comes back into her life just as she’s ready to resign as foundation director and pursue her own dreams of finally earning her teaching credential. Her plans may go on hold, though, depending on the reaction when she confesses she may have kept a major league secret from Johnny and her son.
With the minutes ticking by until Johnny will leave for spring training, they’ll need to let go of the past and work together in order to win the game of love.
CONTENT WARNING: Some strong language, consummated love scenes
“Alice.” Just saying her name sent a line drive straight to his heart. Even fourteen years later.
“Congratulations on your new contract. I know you’re going to have a great year.” She sounded like any other fan, wishing him well. She just marched right up to his table to ask for an autograph. A freaking autograph? Like he meant nothing to her.
A slight breeze blew her hair around her face. She tried to smile as she tucked a loose strand behind her ear. Blond, straight, silky—and if he remembered correctly—oh-so-soft. She wore modestly cut jeans and a soft blue sweater that on anyone else would have looked plain and proper. He didn’t need to glance at her left hand to know she was off limits. Yet, she still moved him like no other woman ever could. Made him long for what he’d had. What he’d lost. What he’d tried for years to forget.
Johnny nodded, giving his most sincere smile, even though seeing Alice, and her kid, hit him like a 97-mile-an-hour fastball.
They started to walk away.
“Give my best to Mel.” As if he hadn’t already done that.
Alice turned around.
“Mel died. Eight years ago.”
Where can readers stalk…um…I mean, find you?