Posted in Romance, Uncategorized

An Apology To My Future Daughters-In-Law

rosedog

If you are one of those women who love Valentine’s Day, complete with hearts, flowers, and jewelry, I’d suggest you decline a second date with my sons.

Although I’m a Romance novelist, I don’t do Valentine’s Day. I’ve been married for almost twenty-five years, so I’ve experienced plenty of romance. But my husband has strict instructions NOT to pick up a dozen red roses on his way home from work today. Any candy, we’ll buy tomorrow when it’s 50% off. And the only diamonds I need are the one’s in my wedding ring, the baseball parks we go to on a date, or if we get more snow, I might be ready to try a black diamond on the slopes.

For me, romantic gestures should be personal. Not the same as everyone else’s. Drive by any street corner in America, and there will be a rose stand. Sweet, but hardly original.

11329945_1105315932815991_8364076000241919055_n
Custom-made roses with the titles of my first three books

Now, when my husband ordered roses made out of real baseball leather, with the titles of my books, that was romantic.

One of our more memorable anniversaries, was the time we’d booked a hotel in San Francisco and were headed to the San Francisco Giants game. My in-laws met us at the Little League park to pick up the boys after our oldest’s game. We were just about to throw the overnight bag in the car when the phone rang. The youngest had hit his head on the corner of the desk and they were taking him in for stitches. We met them at the hospital, and several hours later, we heard the first pitch on the car radio. The final out was recorded while we crossed the Bay Bridge. But there was a Prom in our hotel, and we still had a good time in the city.

More importantly, my husband showed what was most important, making sure our son was okay. Sure, his parents could have handled it, and we could have still made our date, but we had a good time in the ER waiting room, just spending time with our son.

Family is important to our Romance. We got married on his Nani’s 83rd birthday. Got engaged on our way to visit his parents. My niece recorded the backup vocals at our rehearsal dinner–she was three months old, but she’s going to be a star. We stopped off at our foreign-exchange brother’s house on our honeymoon.

We’ve taken the boys to many of the places we stopped on our honeymoon–Yellowstone, the Great Potato Museum in Idaho, Grand Tetons. We showed them the spot along the Silver Fork of the American River where we got engaged.  We’re hoping to do a family river trip on the Yampa this summer, if we can get the permits.

So, my boys have grown up seeing that romance is something you do over time. Not a certain way on a certain day. They will find their own ways to share their love that doesn’t include a box of chocolates, (especially from the one who’s allergic to nuts, he couldn’t kiss a girl after she ate most Valentine’s candies). Our son might buy a girl a new PFD to go rafting with him, or a new helmet to go skiing with him. Or maybe he’ll sing a love song.

I suppose there’s the possibility that my sons will rebel and go for more traditional expressions of Romance.

They might even get really creative and give their mother’s books as gifts to their sweethearts.

Advertisements
Posted in Books, eBook Sale, Romance

Winter Blues and Summer Love

In may parts of the country this winter has packed quite a punch. Those of us in California are still waiting for it to arrive. Either way, you can warm up (or start thinking about the next outdoor season) with the first book in the Swift River Romance series.

Get ready for whitewater, blue skies, and a golden opportunity for love.

Now only 99 cents for a limited time.

https://kristinamathews.com/swept-away

SweptAwayWinterSale

Carson Swift may look exactly like his twin brother Cody, but they’re as different as tie dye and camouflage. Reliable, responsible, and usually the designated driver, Carson is also over being his brother’s keeper, but suddenly his plans to break free are complicated by the woman they fish out of Hidden Creek . . .

Lily Price is not your typical damsel in distress. Infidelity, infertility, and downsizing provide a triple threat to her ego, but falling into the swollen river nearly ends her life. If not for the handsome stranger—make that two handsome strangers—she might not have had a chance at having a baby by any means necessary . . .

As Carson helps Lily overcome her fear of the river, she helps him save his rafting business from going under. She also saves him from abandoning all that is important to him in order to get a taste of freedom. Together they find that love is the ultimate adventure.

 

Posted in Books, Writing

A New Year, A New Hope

2018blog

At the start of a new year, a lot of people make resolutions, set goals, and reflect on the accomplishments of the past year. I’d like to reflect on a little more than just the last twelve months, as the years seem to fly by faster than I can type.

2017 wasn’t the year I had hoped for. I could write a whole list of things I hadn’t accomplished, but I don’t want to dwell in negativity, which is why there aren’t many blog posts from last year.

My day job is going well. It is very rewarding to know that I do make a difference in the lives of the children I work with. Especially for those kids I’ve worked with over several years. I get to see their growth from wide-eyed and wiggly Kindergartners just learning their letters and sounds to fourth and fifth graders who get out of their cars with a book they just can’t put down.

I got my first season pass at Sierra-At-Tahoe, the local ski resort that has become our winter weekend home. With my youngest son on the ski team, my husband a coach, and now my oldest is a ski instructor, I figured it’s the only way to see my family in the winter. I started skiing with a few of the other ski team moms and it’s actually more fun than terrifying now. I’ve learned to work with gravity instead of fighting it, so that helps.

We spent another summer on the river. It started out pretty intense, with the high water levels on the South Fork of the American River. We did a five day trip on the Grand Ronde in Oregon, but our oldest had to stay behind and work his second summer as a whitewater raft guide for ARTA and AO. We ended the summer taking a nice trip down the Middle Fork of the American with our oldest son and his friends. It’s a pretty good feeling to have your child not only take charge of organizing and guiding a great trip, but to invite his parents along.

I published my seventh book. Wow. Seven novels out there in the world that I wrote. Sometimes I need to sit back and let that sink in.

It was only five years ago that I was about to give up on my first novel. I had submitted Better Than Perfect to several agents and publishers who accepted un-agented manuscripts. I had found yet another rejection in my spam folder, with my name spelled wrong, so when I entered an online pitch session on Savvy Authors, I wasn’t feeling too confident. Even when I got a message that an editor wanted me to send my manuscript, I almost didn’t send it.

But I knew if I didn’t, I’d never forgive myself, always wondering if that could have been the one.

So when I got the email from Piper Denna at Lyrical Press, I almost didn’t believe it. I ran out to the driveway where my husband was about to drive off to work. (Well, not run,  actually. I don’t run. Ever). I had to show him the email that said she wanted to add me to their list, an ask him if it said what I thought it said. He said it did, so I signed my first publishing contract in May of 2013.

In January of 2014, Lyrical Press became an imprint of Kensington Books. I signed my second contract for Better Than Perfect, which came out in April 2014.

My second book, Worth The Trade came out in July of that same year.

Making A Comeback was published July 2015 and Earning A Ring, the fourth book in the More Than A Game series was released in January 2016.

I launched a new series, Swift River Romance, with Swept Away in July 2016. In Too Deep followed in December 2016. The third and final book, Diving In, was released in September 2016.

In 2018 I’m planning on attending the RT Booklovers Convention in Reno in May. It will be my first time at RT and I’m looking forward to meeting with other writers AND readers. I hope to have a new series ready by then and possibly get an agent to help me further my career.

Until then, I’ll just keep writing, and hoping that my next book will find its way to even more readers.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Watching The World Series As An Almost Objective Fan

Wow. What a Game Five! What a series it’s been so far. Those of you who know me, know that my beloved San Francisco Giants failed to make it to the World Series for the third year in a row. But I still watch the games. Well, not every pitch, but I check out the score, walk a way if it looks like it’s going to be a lopsided game. And try not to get too emotionally involved.

IMG_0704
What both teams are hoping for. These were at Fan Fest in San Francisco in 2013.

I thought I was going to turn the game off last night when Clayton Kershaw entered the game with a three run lead. I mean, it’s Kershaw. Give him run support in the regular season and it’s pretty much lights out.

So I ate my dinner, worked on my book and when the Dodgers went ahead 4-0 in the fourth inning I grabbed my Kindle and took a bath. I was happily immersed in a make-believe world when I heard my husband’s excited shouts from the living room. Now, we’re Giants fans, so there is no love lost for the Dodgers. I came out to find the game was tied up.

Okay. I’ll watch. This could be good, but if the Dodgers take the lead again, I’m out. So they scored another three runs. But then so did the Houston Astros. A 7-7 tie, we’ve got ourselves a ballgame.

And what a game it was. Very exciting to watch, even for semi-objective fans like myself, who don’t care who wins as long as it’s not the Dodgers.

Oh, and to add to all the excitement, my publisher has put BETTER THAN PERFECT on sale for a limited time.

Only 99 cents on Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, Nook

Portrait of baseball player with bare chest holding bat

Posted in Adventure, Books, Uncategorized

Tales From The River, Part 1

Monday was the Labor Day Holiday in the U.S., a day in which we celebrate having a job by taking the day off. So, my hard-working son took a rare summer holiday off from his job as a river guide, to take his friends and his parents down the Middle Fork of the American River.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had a job they would do on their day off? Just for fun? But that’s a topic for another day.

So, back to the river. We mostly do the South Fork of the American River. It’s easy to just throw a trip together and make a day of it. We did the lower half on Saturday, which was our fifth or sixth trip this year. We got a late start this summer, due to high water in the early part.  The Middle Fork is a more technical river, with one rapid that is un-runnable, and one that is really difficult.

The first big rapid is called Tunnel Chute. Built in the late 1800s by miners, it’s well, here are some pictures of a group that went down before us.


The first boat flipped. The next one made it. 


Pretty intense. Here’s my husband sending our old school bucket boat down without us or the oars. Not so easy to flip. But it has other issues. 

The old girl fills with water and isn’t so maneuverable. Here’s a shot after sending it down the second rapid we couldn’t take passengers down.


The plan was to jump in and paddle hard to the next eddy. My son is used to self-bailing boats that are much lighter when they get to the bottom of Ruck-A-Chucky.  This is another man-made rapid where they tried to build a dam in the 30s. The river isn’t having it when man tries to control it.

So our son’s friend jumped in and tried to paddle to the next eddy, but he ended up going over the next rapid instead. Then we had to pull the boat back upstream so they could make the rapid after that, called Parallel Parking. You think it’s a challenge in a Buick? On the river, there is no driving around the block if you get the angle wrong.

But we all survived, and so did our boats. We lost two of our buckets, though. Oh, and when I spotted it downriver just above Texas Chainsaw, I rolled right on out of the boat. Then I rolled under the boat, kicked off the side of the wall, and had to swim over boulders to the other boat. I thought about staying with the kids. They did have bacon-flavored cheese in a can, but I needed to bail out the oar boat.

Stay tuned for more river stories over the next few weeks. I have a new book coming out September 19, and some of the river tales are based on real life events.

 

Preorder at

Amazon Apple Google Kobo Nook

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Education, Writing

I Survived The First Day Of School

backtoschool

I went back to the day job yesterday. I’m an educator. My official titles are paraeducator and yard duty. I spent my day supervising drop-off and pick-up, assessing new kindergarteners, supervising the lunch tables with a new procedure and making sure the 4th and 5th graders played safely on the playground.

Once the year gets rolling and the placement assessments are completed for the new students and students who have received extra services for reading, I will work with a teacher for “Flex” reading instruction. It’s called Flex because groupings are flexible, students can move up or down a level based on need for phonics instruction. I tell the kids it’s called that because we’re there to flex our reading muscles. I like that analogy because like with any sport, it’s important to practice, and practice correctly.

I will also go into classrooms to support individuals or small groups for reading in Kindergarten, 2nd, and 3rd grade. I’ll also work with 2nd and 4th grade students for math support. Some students I’ll work with all year, others during a specific unit that they may need extra support with, say fractions or fables.

In some ways, the start of the school year is like submitting a book proposal. You have all these expectations and a general idea of how things are going to go. You’re super excited about the possibilities and hope that by the time you get to the end, you can step back, with a sense of satisfaction and look forward to a celebratory beverage when you get home.

But that first day is truly exhausting in a way I can only compare to a weeklong writing conference. You’re excited about meeting new people, happy to greet old friends. You go out of your way to help make first-timers more comfortable. You find out that part of your schedule means you need to get a hold of Hermione’s time turner or figure out some other way to be in two places at once. You may forget to eat lunch. You get asked to take pictures with your fans. The only things missing are your hotel room where you can hide out for a while to decompress, shower, or nap. And the bar.

But with both the first day of school and a writer’s conference, I come home completely exhausted. And then I have work the next day, whether it’s the new book I’m working on, or the kiddos at school who will need me to help them with learning to read, subtract with or without regrouping, open a yogurt tube, or wait patiently for their ride.

I’m going to need more coffee.

Posted in Books, Romance, Writing

Alphas? Betas? Which Heroes Are Greatest?

I didn’t go to RWA in Orlando last week. Every July the Romance Writers of America hold their annual National Conference. I’ve been twice, in San Antonio in 2014 and San Diego in 2016. It’s where 2,000 Romance writers from all over the country (and world) get together to learn more about the craft and business of writing Romance, meet with editors and agents, and celebrate the genre we all love.

I wasn’t able to go this year, but I did follow many of my writer friends who either live tweeted from some of the workshops or set up an alternative online Tweet-stream to enlighten those of us not there.

One of the topics that comes up every year is the Alpha Hero (and to some extent heroine). Love him, hate him, or have no idea what that means, the Alpha male is a stereotype that has long been a staple of Romance. Without going into the psychology of alphas vs. betas, I’ll just sum up. He’s the strong, silent type. The Billionaire, Navy Seal, Bad Boy, Vampire, Police Chief, etc.  They are often powerful, rich, take-charge kind of men, both in and out of the bedroom.

alpha male

For better or for worse, he’s the kind of hero most people think of when they think of Romance novel hero (and I suppose for some, the reason they don’t want to read Romance).

But there is a growing segment of readers who prefer a kinder, gentler, man to sweep them off their feet. Betas might be the boy next door who has grown up into a surprisingly sexy man. He might be the guy you’re just friends with until you realize he’s everything you didn’t know you wanted in a man. He could be a co-worker who works with you on an important project rather than competing with you for a promotion. But he’s no less of a man, by any means.

sandals

In fact, he may be more of a man because he doesn’t have to constantly prove himself to the world.

I tend to write more Beta heroes and heroines, but they all have some aspects of their lives where they feel in control. Like Fisher Jones, the heroine of my upcoming book Diving In. She’s kind of an Alpha on the river. She’s confident, strong, and knows what she’s doing. But when it comes to relationships, well, she’s in way over her head.

But that’s the fun thing about Romance. Finding that special someone who can not only see past their lover’s weaknesses, but help them overcome them. While their lover helps them overcome theirs.

DivingIn_Final[14]

Diving In (A Swift River Romance #3) is available for preorder.

For more information about all my books, check out my website.