The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Monday, 14 April 2014

Welcome Lyrical Press author, Kristina Mathews...

Guest Interview 4

1)   What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

The best thing I’ve learned from my editor is how to improve my writing. It’s the little things that can make a big difference. The worst thing I’ve learned is how much grammar I’ve forgotten. Some of my edits come back and I cringe because I should know better.

2)   What is your typical day?

A typical day? Wow, I’m almost afraid to think about it. I usually wake up between five and six. Sometimes I lay in bed thinking about a particular scene, and waiting for the sun to come up. I usually get coffee and check my e-mail first thing in the morning. I’m on West Coast time, so I often have messages from my editor or publisher. Sometimes I can get a few words in, or work on edits while my kids get ready for school. I drop them off and then have about 15-20 minutes before I start my shift as yard duty at the elementary school. I can get a lot done in that short period of time sitting in my car. I got most of this interview written while sipping coffee and waiting for my alarm to go off.

I do everything from yard supervision, parent drop-off/pickup (or as I call it, project inspection and smile distribution), I work with reading groups, one-on-one with Kindergarteners, special education students in small groups or one-on-one.

When I get home, I spend about a half hour catching up on social media. It’s my way of switching gears from school to writing mode. I get a little writing in before dinner, but most of my creative work is done at night before bed. I try to get 1,000-2,000 words a day in. Some days I write a little less and some days I can get up to 5,000 words. Those are usually weekends when my family is off skiing or fishing.

3)   What do you read while in the midst of a project? Or don’t you?

I usually read something in my genre or from a favorite author of mine. I read in the tub. It’s about the only place where I’m not interrupted. Somehow sitting at my computer with earphones on screams “come talk to me” to my family.

4)    What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?
I keep them. Almost all of them. That’s why my husband bought me a Kindle for Mother’s Day a few years ago.
5)    Are you nervous about friends reading your book?
A little. But at this point it’s too late. My book is already out there.
6)    What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?
Sometimes it’s events that happen in real life. Better Than Perfect was inspired by my love of baseball, my dislike of sports scandals, and my husband’s nickname as a kid. His older cousin Mike was travelling with them one summer and he teased my husband, saying he wasn’t really a Mathews, but his real name was Johnny Scottsdale. It made him cry, and he’s had the nickname ever since. I thought it would be a great name for a hero, and a good way to get back at his cousin.
7)    What’s next for you?

My second book, Worth The Trade is coming out in July. I’m working on books three and four in the series. I also have a series I started when I was first learning the craft of writing that I’d like to revisit, it features whitewater raft guides as the heroes (and one heroine).

Better Than Perfect
by Kristina Mathews



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


“Yeah, the kid’s kind of growing on me.” Johnny sounded surprised. But pleased. “I thought it would be hard to be around him. Since he’s…Mel’s. But, he’s such a great kid.”

The lump in her throat grew. She should tell him. Now. Before she lost her nerve.

He stepped toward her. “You have mascara, here.”

He reached out and wiped the smudge under her left eye. Her lashes automatically fluttered closed at his touch. A sigh escaped her lips, an instant before he captured her mouth with his.

He pulled her closer. Closer. Kissing her like they’d been apart for merely a two-week road trip, not fourteen years. His hands wove through her hair. Moved down her back. She leaned against him. She could feel him, his need pressing against her belly. Her insides dissolved. Longing filled her. Powerful. Uncontrolled.

 “Ali…” His breath was ragged, heavy with desire. “Oh, Ali.”

She was about to surrender completely, when she heard the toilet flush upstairs.


“Johnny. Wait.” She pushed him away. Smoothed her blouse. Her hair. “Zach’s upstairs. He could come down any minute.”

“Right. Zach.” Johnny stepped back and her heart gave a small whimper. “I should go.”

“Johnny, please… Stay.” They needed to talk. She needed to tell him the truth. Or what could be the truth about Zach.

“I really need to go.” His eyes rested on the formal family portrait. He didn’t need to tell her any more. He wasn’t ready for a family.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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, and a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

Encourage your readers to follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 



  1. I love that you took that tease & turned it into the name for your character.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Mary,
      Thanks, I think it was a great way to honor my husband. Plus, his cousin will have to pay me royalties now when he teases him.

  2. Rather a sad excerpt. However, I do believe this has to have a HEA. Sounds like a sensitive and sweet story.

  3. Just tell him already! LOL, I'd never be able to keep a secret like that but it doesn't stop me from enjoying the suspense in books that use this scenario as a plot device. Thanks for sharing with us.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

    1. Elise,
      You'd think it would be easy, huh, but it never is. I hope you enjoy finding out what happens next.

  4. Rachel,
    Thanks for hosting me. I'm on my first day of Spring Break, and slept in a little. I think I need coffee before I answer any more comments. I'll check back in throughout the day.

  5. Can't wait to read Better Than Perfect!