Please help me welcome my guest today, author Kristein Beairsto. Kristen is going to tell us a little about herself and her book, Going After the Heart. She’s also giving away an e-copy of her book to one lucky commenter.
Thanks so much for visiting today, Kristen.
First, tell us a little bit about yourself.Thank you so much for having me! I live in San Diego, Ca, so I tend to wear flip-flops year round – yes, even in the rain. LOL! I’ve been addicted to romance novels since I was a teenager. The rare times I’m not reading or writing, I can usually be found spending time with my husband and our two little girls or cheering on one of my favorite New York sports teams.
Lucky you living where it’s warm enough for flip-flops year-round.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
Certainly. Going After the Heart is about a woman named Lizzy Bergstrum who thinks her life is going great. Her marriage, career, and daughter – everything is perfect. Then out of the blue, her husband leaves because he’s convinced she doesnâ€™t even know he exists anymore. After getting over her shock, she decides to go after him to fix things and has to find the fine line between making changes and not compromising who she is.
Isn’t that the worst – something happening that you didn’t even see coming? Good for her going after what she wants.
What is the single most important thing you’ve learned about managing your career?
Patience. Everything takes time in this business. From building a brand and author recognition to receiving royalty checks, literally everything takes longer than you would expect it to. If youâ€™re going to survive, you need to become good friends with the art of waiting patiently.
Agreed. Unfortunately, patience is not one of my strong suits 🙂
Everyone always wants to know about a writer’s writing space. What’s yours like?
In a closet, literally.ïŠ I live in an apartment and in the master bedroom there is a walk-in closet that has a little nook area with some small cabinets and a small vanity. When we moved in about a year ago, I decided to use it as a desk and would make the best spot for me to work because I could close my bedroom door if I needed to hide from a couple of little girls I know. ; )
Do you write every day? Every week? Odd times?
I really wish I got the chance to write every day, but thatâ€™s often wishful thinking. I have a day job, plus a husband and kids and all the activities that busy kids entail. So I donâ€™t really have a set time that I get to write, I fit it in at whatever odd times I can.
When you get deep into a project, how do you balance your time between work and family?
It really depends on whatâ€™s going on. Usually it involves me getting a lot less sleep. LOL! Iâ€™m also very lucky in the fact that my family is very supportive. I usually just have to let my husband know whatâ€™s going on and he does his best to keep our girls out of my hair for a few hours at a time.
What was the most exciting thing that has happened in your career so far?
Having been published for almost a year, thereâ€™s a lot of things that have been exciting for me because so much of it is still new. But if I had to pick, Iâ€™d have to say my sales slowly, but steadily picking up over time. Itâ€™s a wonderful feeling to be selling that many copies and know your stories are reaching new people â€“ because I donâ€™t know that many people to buy that many copies! LOL!
That is a fabulous feeling.
What are you currently reading?
I just started the fourth book of HP Mallory’s Dulcie O’Neil series, Wuthering Frights. I discovered HP Mallory about six months ago with her Jolie Wilkins series. I love her voice, the characters, and how she’s able to draw out the story into so many books without making it seem like its dragging.
Yay! A new author for me to check out.
Why is the setting to your story so important?
The setting in Going After the Heart plays a very vital role in the story. The small Oregon town the story takes place in is the Gavin’s (Lizzy’s husband) home where he grew up and it’s where his family and friends live. The small country town is a foreign environment for Lizzy, who’s visited but has always been an outsider. So while Lizzy is trying to win Gavin back, she also has to deal with being in an environment that she’s not use to and doesn’t always understand. So the setting in this story really has some major effects on the characters.
Going After the Heart Blurb
Lizzy Bergstrum thought she finally reached a point in her life when she could honestly say she had it all. A thriving writing career.A wonderful daughter.And a marriage to the love of her life. But looks can apparently be deceiving because her husband just walked out on her and their eight year old daughter hates her.
Gavin Bergstrum canâ€™t handle the direction his life has taken. Not only did he get laid off from his job, but his wife seems to barely remember he exists. Convinced heâ€™s tried his best to change things, he begins to wrestle with the possibility of divorce. But he canâ€™t think straight in the same house as Lizzy. Hating to leave his daughter, but needing time to think and come to terms with what he feels he needs to do, Gavin decides to return to his small home town in Oregon and stay at his family ranch with his father and brothers.
In shock, Lizzy gives Gavin his space. But as time passes and he doesnâ€™t say a word about their marriage, Lizzy decides itâ€™s past time she takes matters into her own hands. Without a word, she follows Gavin to Oregon.
Now facing a daughter who blames her for everything, an irritated husband, and a small town that feeds on the drama, Lizzy finds herself trying to figure out how to convince Gavin to give her another chance, teach her daughter it takes two to make a successful marriage, and overcome her own insecurities â€“ all without compromising who she is.
Going After the Heart Excerpt
â€œHereâ€™s the keys to the cabin. The round one is to the front and back doors and the square one is for the shed.â€ Rayâ€™s voice sounded clear and even behind him.
Turning, Gavin watched his father hand Lizzy a small set of keys.
â€œI had Clare clean it up for you. Like I said on the phone, itâ€™s not the newest place in the world, but itâ€™s still in pretty good shape considering its age.”
Lizzy gave his father a small smile as she took the keys from him. â€œIâ€™m sure itâ€™s great.â€
Her gaze moved to him and resentment swelled watching her smile fade. Although, what did he expect, she hadnâ€™t smiled at him for months prior to him leaving. Why would she start now?
But the indiscernible look settling on Lizzyâ€™s features startled him. After ten years of marriage and five years together before getting married, Gavin would have bet big money he knew every single one of his wifeâ€™s expressions. But this one, he realized dumbfounded, he didnâ€™t recognize.
Her gaze dropped down to Sky. â€œCome on, Sky, weâ€™ve got to go up to the cabin to settle in.â€
Beside him, Gavin felt Skyâ€™s shoulders tense.
â€œNo!â€ She shouted the word venomously. â€œI donâ€™t want to go with you,â€ she spat before turning pleading blue eyes up at him. â€œDad, canâ€™t I stay here with you and Papa? I donâ€™t want to go with her.â€
Apparently he missed the memo about today being Surprise Day, Gavin realized, as he could only stare at his daughter for a moment, never having seen this side of her before.
â€œI tell you what, little missy, no little girl is welcome in my house that sasses her mama the way you just did. No matter what injustice you think sheâ€™s handed you, a child never speaks to their parent that way.â€ Ray delivered his little speech with an even look and matching tone.
Skyâ€™s cheeks turned bright red. Gavin frowned down at her. â€œYour grandfatherâ€™s right, you know better than to talk to your mom that way.â€
Looking up to his wife, he arched a brow. Apparently the statute of limitations for surprises for the day hadnâ€™t been reached yet, he thought silently in disbelief when Lizzy didnâ€™t scold, or even comment on, Skyâ€™s behavior.
Rather than say anything, Lizzy looked away and her back stiffened so much he thought her spine would snap.
What the hell is going on? His bewilderment bothered him.
Seeing Lizzy wouldnâ€™t say anything, Gavin looked back down at Sky. â€œHoney, since I didnâ€™t know you were coming, I donâ€™t have anywhere set up for you to sleep. Iâ€™m sleeping on a cot in one of the extra rooms. Iâ€™ll try to look at setting something up tomorrow so you can stay a few nights with me. How does that sound?â€
A stubborn look Gavin recognized all too easily surfaced on Skyâ€™s face, but she remained silent, temporarily mollified and nodded. Turning away from him, Sky made her way back to the car and climbed in without so much as a single glance in her motherâ€™s direction.
Gavin returned his gaze back to Lizzy, but she completely ignored him as she turned to climb back in the car.
That, at least, heâ€™d grown used to.
In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husbandâ€™s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times sheâ€™s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.
As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristenâ€™s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.
Thanks again for spending this time with me today, Kristen.
Don’t forget to leave a comment. You may be lucky and win a copy of Going After the Heart.