Kristina Mathews: Better Than Perfect

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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.

Author Interview

1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. I think writing has always been something that has kept me sane. I don’t think I would have survived my teen years without the dozens of journals where I wrote everything from horrid teen angst poetry to dreams and hopes and thoughts and whatever came to mind.

I used to tell myself stories to help me fall asleep, and eventually I finished a story idea. Then I researched how to get published and realized I’d done just about everything wrong. But then I’m the kind of person who learns by doing, even if it is doing it wrong to begin with.

It’s kind of like putting together those bookshelves that come with only pictorial instructions. I have to put it together wrong before I can figure out the right way. But at least I keep going. Perseverance is by far the most important trait of a writer, or anyone following their dreams. Or maybe it’s stubbornness. Tell me I can’t do something and…
2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? I started writing about Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale a little bit before sports romances became popular. There were a few out there, but it seems to be a growing market. I hope it continues to grow over the next few years. Johnny has a lot of teammates who would love to have their stories told.
3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? I consider myself a pantser because I don’t officially outline my stories. I was the kid in high school who would type up my papers at the last minute and write the required rough draft and outline on the bus on the way to school. I do start with a general idea of the main conflict, the black moment and the resolution.

My writing process is kind of like my honeymoon. We knew where we wanted to end up at Yellowstone, had an idea of places we wanted to see along the way, but other than our wedding night, we had no reservations. I usually have the beginning of my stories very clearly set in my head. And the end. But the rest is discovered along the way.

4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? I think the fear of not being good enough is a fear that shows up in my stories. It doesn’t seem to matter where we come from or what our experience is, it’s a fear we all face. But that’s what makes a perfect match, finding that someone who accept you in spite of you flaws. Or maybe even because of them.
5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? My family is very supportive. My kids are fifteen and eleven, so they can pretty much feed themselves. And they’ve sacrificed by going skiing or fishing or golfing on the weekends so I can work on my books.

I am finding it harder to juggle the promotions for the first book, the final editing of the second book and finishing the third book while working part time at an elementary school a challenge. But I know I will figure out a way to work it all out. If I can limit my Facebook, Twitter and Spider Solitaire time.

6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? I’m a little stumped on this question. I guess I like to think my characters would do what I wish I could do. In real life I think of clever things to say after the moment has passed. I guess that’s why I like writing, I get to go back and put those gems in.

7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. I have a comfy chair,  a leather wing back with ottoman that my husband got me for our tenth wedding anniversary. I also write in the car, along the river, in tents or hotel rooms. I took my first online writing course in a tent at Zion National Park.

My comfort food is potato chips. I love Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream. They’re so good, and sooooo bad for me.

8. Writing inspirations? Life. Books. Sports.

9. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? It’s so hard to pick one favorite. I’ve met many great authors, and they’ve been really great to talk to. It’s like I’ve finally found my tribe. A group of people who are just like me. And we can talk for hours about people who don’t even exist, except in our imaginations.
10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. My mind wanders. A lot. And I suppose I pull details from real life that invariably find their way into my books. I can’t help it.

Portrait of baseball player with bare chest holding batBetter 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



“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.”

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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.





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