Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Tour: Worth the Trade by Kristina Mathews Interview & Giveaway

A ballplayer and a team owner would give anything for a championship—even their hearts… 
After inheriting majority ownership of the San Francisco Goliaths baseball team, Hunter Collins wants to prove to herself—and the rest of the league—that she’s got what it takes to build a champion. Her first move is to trade for a hot left-fielder. He’s got it all, speed, power, and a desire to win. Not to mention undeniable charm. 
Marco Santiago is tired of being the new player in town. After four teams in six years, he’s facing free agency at the end of the season. He wants nothing more than a long-term contract and a World Series win. Hitting on his new owner probably isn’t the best way to get it, but love may be the most powerful challenger either of them has ever faced... 
Warning: Strong language, consummated love scenes, and some baseball clichés. 
“Smart, fun, and sexy. A great romance read.” –New York Times Bestselling Author, Kat Martin

1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?

Worth The Trade, was inspired by a trade the San Francisco Giants made in 2012. I loved the way Hunter Pence showed up at the ballpark and stole all Giants fans’ hearts.  From the moment he pulled up to the ballpark in a limo, the fan in me loved his enthusiasm. And the writer in me started thinking what if… What if his new, and female, owner was in that limo?  And what if she was determined to prove to herself and the league that she could run a team? What if they fell in love?

2. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?

I came up with the title, Worth The Trade. I originally called it Home Team Advantage, then Trading For Love, but I think the final title is much better. 

3. Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?

I love contemporary romance. I love stories of realistic characters in realistic situations. When I first started writing, I was told that athlete heroes would never sell. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that advice. Sports Romance seems to be a very popular and growing genre. 

4. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

I attended my first RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference in San Antonio in July. I got to meet many of my favorite authors, attend my publisher’s cocktail party, and oh-my-gosh that was Nora Roberts who just walked by. 

5. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

I’ve been in a reading funk. And a writing funk. I started a couple of books I got at conference, but little things made me put them aside. And I’m really, really trying to finish my fourth book. Some authors I enjoy are Brenda Novak, Liz Talley, Gemma Brocato, Kat Martin, Shirley Jump, Bella Andre, Rogenna Brewer, Jeannie Watt just to name a few. 

6. What is your writing process?

I usually start with an idea. A character. I have a Goal, Motivation, and Conflict for each of the main characters. Sometimes one is easier than the other, but as the book evolves, the other usually catches up. I start writing from the opening scene. I often have the big black moment in mind and how it is resolved, but the rest of it comes as I write. I do spend a lot of time thinking about each character’s background, where they’re from, what their childhood was like, etc. but I don’t write a lot of that stuff down. Some of it makes it into the book, but a lot of it doesn’t. 

7. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 

This is so hard for me. I did practice my autograph, which is different than my legal signature. I feel like I should come up with something clever, but I haven’t come up with anything other than something boring like, “enjoy the read.”

8. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I once performed onstage with Andy Williams. I don’t sing, except in my car and then it’s mostly to embarrass my children. But when I was in high school, he was performing a Christmas show at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. The show ran for several days, and one night the regular chorus was missing several singers because they had a concert at the other high school. So a couple of my friends and I put on choir robes and stood in the back row just to provide bodies for the midweek performance. Since they were Christmas songs, I was able to at least sing along. 

9. How do you react to a bad review?

I wish I could say they don’t bother me, but they do. I try to look for something I can improve upon, then I move on. I know everyone isn’t going to love my books. But when they do, it’s a great feeling. 

10. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

When I signed my first contract, I celebrated with champagne. The night before my first book came out, I had dinner with friend, more champagne, and I took the day off from work and got a pedicure. 

“I’m only interested in winning the division and making a strong run in the postseason.” She turned her head to look out the window as if to show she was unaffected by the chemistry between them.

“Aren’t you a rotten liar?” He chuckled softly. Oh yeah, he was definitely getting to her. “Don’t join in the poker game at the next owners’ retreat. You’ll be wiped out.”

She whipped her head around so fast the car shook. “I happen to be a very good poker player. I can hold my own against anyone. Anytime.”

Interesting. Her strong reaction told him two things. She was insecure about her place among her fellow owners. And yes, she was interested in him on more than a professional level.

“That explains your wardrobe.” He leaned back, not ready to leave her just yet. “You dress like you do to fit in with the old boys’ club. But you can’t hide the fact that you are all woman.”

“And you can’t hide the fact that you don’t want to be here.” She dared look him straight in the eye, but couldn’t hold his gaze.

“I’m starting to come around.” He gave her one last smile. 

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.

$10 Amazon gift card
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