Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Aloha to Kristina Matthews and EARNING A RING (More than a Game, Book 4) - Author Interview


For the past week, I've been soaking up the sun (and attending to family business) in Tampa ... where the locals are ready for baseball!  Many teams flock to Florida for spring training to the delight of  the snow birds.  Speaking of baseball, Kristina Matthews joins me for an interview to celebrate the release of EARNING A RING, Book Four in the More than a Game series.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. As 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 someday throw out the first pitch for the San Francisco Giants.

Author Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Kristina Mathews

Kim:  Northern California - what is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of the Golden State?

Kristina:  It’s hard to pick just one. I can raft down the river where gold was first discovered in California. I can take a short drive to a hidden alpine lake or a slightly longer drive to Lake Tahoe. I can catch a ballgame at beautiful AT&T Park or spend New Years Eve skiing on Mount Shasta. 

Kim:  Veteran road tripper - can you share a funny story of a stop along the way?

Kristina:  I changed a diaper at the base of a three thousand year old bristle cone pine in Great Basin National Park (we packed it out of course). On another trip we took our two sons, age seven and three, on a tour of Wind Cave. The three-year-old screamed through much of the tour until we realized he just didn’t want his older brother to be in front of him. As long as he was in front, he was fine. And then there was the time at the Grand Canyon when he yelled “Red Robin” and from across the canyon came the response, “Yum.”

Kim:  Amateur renovator - I am intrigued! Have you featured a renovator (or renovated item) in any of your books?

Kristina:  I do have a scene in MAKING A COMEBACK where Marco Santiago from WORTH THE TRADE, helps his former girlfriend caulk the tub in her spare shower. Nathan Cooper misunderstands when Marco’s wife, Hunter, tells him that Marco is helping his Annabelle with some caulk.

And in almost all my books the hero spends at least some time working in the kitchen, cooking, washing dishes, or other useful tasks.

Kim:  Tell us about EARNING A RING - what inspired it?

Kristina:  I wanted to explore what happens when a player finally reaches the top, winning the World Series, getting the big contract, and being awarded a Corvette for being the MVP. But all the things he’s worked for, all his dreams coming true don’t make him happy. His successes on the field just remind him of his failures in his personal life.

It takes earning the love of a good woman for him to feel like he can enjoy his success. By earning his wedding ring, he can finally appreciate his World Series ring:

For Rachel Parker, covering the San Francisco Goliaths is the perfect opportunity to launch her career as a serious reporter. But she didn’t bargain on Bryce Baxter, the team’s star shortstop, tempting her more non-professional aspirations. After tearing up the base paths with him, she finds herself with a little problem, and Bryce might be the only man who can save the game.

Bryce Baxter should be living the dream. His team just won the World Series and he just signed the multi-year contract of his career. But his field of dreams has been overtaken by a fiery redheaded reporter, who’s bearing a news flash that will change both of their lives forever… 

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kristina offers an excerpt from EARNING A RING ...

Bryce Baxter sat alone in the San Francisco Goliaths’ clubhouse. He didn’t want to go home and watch the replays of tonight’s game. There was enough of that going on in his head. He’d blown the game. How many times had he made that play since he first picked up a baseball at the age of five? A thousand? Ten thousand? Probably more. Not tonight. Tonight it was as if he’d forgotten everything he knew about the game. What should have been an easy double play ended up being the game-winning run.

The loss put his team even farther behind in their division going into the second month of the season and had reporters questioning the Goliaths’ chances of repeating a World Series run. Some were even questioning the team’s decision to re-sign Baxter to the big contract extension. The biggest one he’d ever inked. So naturally, he was having his worst start to the season ever. He couldn’t hit. Couldn’t draw a walk to save his life. And when he struck out, he did it in spectacular fashion.

Last November he’d been king of the world. San Francisco’s biggest hero since Willie Mays. As World Series MVP, he’d been awarded a brand new Corvette. His face had been on the cover of magazines. He’d made the talk show rounds. Met the President. Women had lined up outside his door. And he’d had his choice of endorsement deals, including a line of men’s hair care products. Now, if his game didn’t improve, his agent would be lucky to get him a spot peddling adult diapers.

Reluctantly, he headed toward the parking lot.

“Hey, Bryce, you got a minute?” He recognized the voice of the woman standing beside his car. A month ago, he would have been happy to see her. Professionally, personally, a little bit of both. But not now.

“Look, Rachel, I’m not giving any more interviews tonight.” He was so down, all he wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed. Alone.

“I’m not here for an interview.” She would have waited in the clubhouse if she were. He knew that. Rachel Parker was a professional, the in-game reporter for Bay Area Sports Network. “Can we go somewhere? Somewhere private?”

“I’m not giving that tonight either.” He waited for his body to protest, recalling the dozen or so encounters with the sexy journalist. She’d been hot. Real hot. Hot enough for him to forget his rule of one and done. They’d been hooking up off the record since before spring training of last season.

“Look, I really do need to talk to you.” She seemed a little nervous, not her usual confident, perky, and always upbeat self who was part bubbly cheerleader, part hard-hitting reporter. She was still hot. But instead of smoking, she was…smoldering. His body stirred. Enough for him to think that maybe spending the next several hours in bed might not be such a bad idea.

But it probably wasn’t a good idea either.

The last time they’d hooked up had been intense. Almost too intense. Too real. But maybe he’d just been riding the high of signing his ridiculous contract. Or maybe he’d felt the pressure of the deal and had transferred it to his personal life. Something he could control.

“You know, I think maybe we should take a step back.” He raked a hand through his hair, still damp from his long shower after the game. “I’m not good for anyone right now.”

Rachel gave him a weird look, almost as if her eyes slipped out of focus. Her face drained of color. She turned and stumbled toward his car, bracing herself against the front fender. Then she threw up on the hood of his Corvette.

“Are you okay?” He took a step toward her.

“No, I’m not okay.” She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “I’m pregnant.”


More books in the series ... 


  1. Great interview! Thank you for hosting EARNING A RING today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours

  2. Thanks for the links and I enjoyed the excerpt and interview.

  3. Lov the interview. .,can't wait to read these books.

  4. They sound good; love sports stories, especially baseball!

  5. Thanks for the preview.
    Karen T.

  6. Sounds good. I like novels set in the Bay Area, since I always enjoy traveling there.

  7. One of those uh-oh moments...nice excerpt1