When Liz from Media Muscle contacted me, I knew you would enjoy this visit. Ready? Without further ado, Ms. Kristan Higgins!!!!!
I started writing romance novels when my kids were little. I’d always been a writer of some type—public relations, advertising, research—but wanted to stay home with the bunnies. I’d been reading romance novels ever since I swiped Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss from my grandmother’s night table. “Higgins,” I said to myself, “I bet you could write one of these.” And so I sat down every afternoon when the kids were napping, took my lifelong love of romance novels and tried to make a career out of it. We’ve been living happily ever after since.
I live in my hometown, a small, pretty place in Connecticut where there’s a beautiful library and a wicked good ice cream stand. I’m the mom of two lovely children who have very long eyelashes and excellent vocabularies, the wife of a heroic and brave firefighter and the willing love-slave to a naughty mutt named Willow. Our cat, Huck, occasionally deigns to sit on my lap, especially when I’m typing.
I love to write books about relationships, since the search for love and security is one of the driving forces of life. My characters are regular people, folks like us, and I hope to give them a big, memorable love story rich with family, pets, food and laughter. When I’m not writing, I like to be with my kids, goof around with my husband, read, watch baseball, ride my bike and bake. I suffer from chronic bedhead and an unhealthy (and completely understandable) obsession with Derek Jeter, shortstop for the New York Yankees. We spend as much time as possible at our family home on Cape Cod, swimming in the Atlantic, shivering on the beach, swatting horseflies and watching fish evade my lure at Higgins Pond. It’s as close to heaven as it gets.
Visit Kristan at her website here.
Can you give us some background on THE BEST MAN, and how you came up with the idea for the Blue Heron series?
Well, I wanted to write a series for a couple of reasons. The first was simply that I tend to become deeply attached to my characters and settings. As fun and invigorating as it is to start fresh, it’s always hard to leave those towns and people behind. The second was because readers asked for a series…I guess they feel the same way.
Because families are so integral to my stories, I wanted to create a family business that would serve as a foundation for the first two books and set the backdrop for the area. I wanted something scenic, a business that had a lot of heart, beauty and fun to it…so a vineyard seemed perfect. Being a Yankee, I wanted to stay in the Northeast; one of the things I think I do well is capture the sensibility of a region, and it would be hard to do that if I set a book in California, simply because I haven’t spent too much time there. My brother, who owns a wine shop and has worked in the wine industry all his adult life, recommended the Finger Lakes region of New York and put me in touch with a tourism bureau up there. A couple of emails, and I had some very nice contacts up there.
My husband and I went up for a long weekend, and it was truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited. We met with some winemakers, tasted a lot of great wine, and the series started to take shape.
The idea for THE BEST MAN started with a scene—Faith, the youngest of the Holland children, is jilted at the altar. I loved that idea, the sheer visual impact of such a scene. As with any kind of romantic trope I use, I wanted to make sure that there was an excellent reason for her being jilted. I literally sat there at my computer and said, “Okay, what are some really good reasons to stop a wedding?” I even made a list. He’s a drug addict. He’s had an affair. He’s abusive. But in those cases, the heroine would’ve had to have been really obtuse or weak or scared…I didn’t think I could relate to someone who would let things get all the way to the altar in those cases. Besides that, I don’t write dark stories. So I kept typing away. He’s gay.
I stopped at that last one. Mulled it over. What if Jeremy, the fiancé, was gay? And no one knew it. Why would they not know? Because he doesn’t fit any of the clichés. Because he’s been with Faith since high school. Because he played football and became a doctor and seems too evolved to have been in the closet, not to mention too wonderful a boyfriend to have been pretending.
Only one person suspected, and that’s Levi Cooper, Jeremy’s best friend…and best man.
So with that scene firmly in mind, the book was born. Since that information comes out in the prologue (along with Jeremy, I guess), I don’t think I’m giving anything away. From there, it was really fun to look at both Levi and Faith, and see why and how they got to that defining moment, and how they move forward.
ABOUT THE BOOK
SOMETIMES THE BEST MAN IS THE ONE YOU LEAST EXPECT…
Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there….
Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancé. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.
Read an excerpt
Levi Cooper, chief of police of the entire Manningsport Police Department, all two and a half of them, tried to give people a break. He did. Even the tourists with the lead feet, Red Sox stickers on their bumpers and complete disregard for speed limits. He parked the cruiser in plain sight, the radar gun clearly visible—Hi there, welcome to Manningsport, you’re going way too fast and here I am, about to pull you over, so slow down, pal. The town depended on visitors, and September was prime tourism season; the leaves were starting to turn, buses had been rolling in and out of town all week, and every vineyard in the area had some special event going on.
But the law was the law.
Plus, he’d just let Colleen O’Rourke off with a stern lecture and a warning while she tried to look remorseful.
So another speeder just wasn’t going to be tolerated today. This one, for example. Seventeen miles an hour over the limit, more than enough. Also, an out-of-towner; he could see the rental plates from here. The car was a painfully bright yellow Honda Civic, currently clocking in at forty-two miles per hour in a twenty-five mile-an-hour zone. What if Carol Robinson and her merry band of geriatric power-walkers were out? What if the Nebbins kid was riding his bike? There hadn’t been a fatal crash in Manningsport since he’d been chief, and Levi planned on keeping it that way.
The yellow car sailed past him, not even a tap on the brakes. The driver wore a baseball cap and big sunglasses. Female. With a sigh, Levi put on the lights, gave the siren a blip and pulled onto the road. She didn’t seem to notice. He hit the siren again, and the driver seemed to realize that yes, he was talking to her, and pulled over.
Grabbing his ticket pad, Levi got out of the cruiser. Wrote down the license plate number, then went over to the driver’s side, where the window was lowering. “Welcome to Manningsport,” he said, not smiling.
It was Faith Holland. A giant Golden Retriever shoved its head out of the window and barked once, wagging happily.
“Levi,” she said, as if they’d seen each other last week at O’Rourke’s.
“Holland. You visiting?”
“Wow. That’s amazing. How did you guess?”
He looked at her, not amused, and let a few beats pass. It worked; her cheeks flushed, and she looked away. “So. Forty-two in a twenty-five mile-an-hour zone,” he said.
“I thought it was thirty-five,” she said.
“We dropped it last year.”
The dog whined, so Levi petted him, making the dog try to crawl over Faith’s head.
“Blue, get back,” Faith ordered.
Blue. Right. Same dog as from a few years ago.
“Levi, how about a warning? I have a, um, a family emergency, so if you could drop the cop act, that’d be super.” She gave him a tight smile, almost meeting his eyes, and pushed her hair behind one ear.
“What’s the emergency?” he said.
“My grandfather is…uh…he’s not feeling well. Goggy’s concerned.”
“Should you lie about stuff like that?” he asked. Levi was well acquainted with the elder Hollands, as they made up about ten percent of his work week. And if Mr. Holland really was under the weather, he’d bet Mrs. Holland would be picking out his funeral clothes and planning a cruise.
Faith sighed. “Look, Levi. I just took the red-eye from San Francisco. Can you give me a break? Sorry I was going too fast.” She tapped her fingers on the steering wheel. “I’ll take a warning. Can I go now?”
“License and registration, please.”
She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Still got that branch up your ass, I see.”
“License and registration, and please exit the vehicle.”
She mumbled something under her breath, then groped around in the glove compartment, her shirt coming out of her jeans to reveal a patch of creamy flesh. Looked like the fitness revolution had passed her by; then again, she’d always been a little lush ripe chunky, ever since he could remember. The dog took the opportunity to shove his head out again, so Levi scratched him behind the ear.
Faith slammed the glove box shut, shoved some papers in Levi’s hand, got out of the car, nearly hitting him with the door. “Stay put, Blue.” She didn’t look at Levi.
He glanced at her license, then at her.
“Yes, it’s a bad picture,” she snapped. “Want a tissue sample?”
“I don’t think that’ll be necessary. This has expired, though. Another fine.”
Her eyes narrowed, and she crossed her arms under her chest. Still had that amazing rack.
“How was Afghanistan?” she asked, looking over his shoulder.
“Really great. I’m thinking of getting a summer place there.”
“You know what I wonder, Levi? Why are some people always such hemorrhoids? You ever wonder that?”
“I do. Are you aware that antagonizing an officer of the law is a felony?”
“Really. How fascinating. Can you get it in gear, please? I want to see my family.”
He signed the paper and handed it to her. She wadded it up and tossed it in the car. “Am I free to go, Officer?”
“It’s Chief now,” he said.
“See someone about that branch.” She got into the car and drove off. Not too fast, though not slowly, either.
LIVE CHAT WITH KRISTAN TOMORROW….DON”T MISS OUT!!
THANKS TO LIZ AT MEDIA MUSCLE, I
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13 thoughts on “Guest Author Kristan Higgins and giveaway ENDED”
The wedding that wasn’t. Would that be considered a ghost from the past? Or, does it need to be a person? In that case, the ex-fiance.
lkish77123 at gmail dot com
I’m guessing it’s an ex-boyfriend.
I’d say her ex-fiance or maybe the police chief.
My assumption is the Ex-fiance.
The police chief
I think it would be her former fiance that jilted her. Or maybe she blames Levi for talking his friend out of marring her.
This post is amazing. I realy like it!
The police chief… he helped to reuin her wedding years ago
Definitely her X
Maybe an ex-lover
I would guess her ex-fiance.
I would say her ex-fiance is a ghost in her past. Sounds like a good read.