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 she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing.
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 more than 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.
The San Francisco Goliaths
Welcome to the official fan page of the San Francisco Goliaths Baseball Club. Meet the players, front office, broadcasters, and loved ones who make the slogan “We Are Goliaths, We Are Family” more than just an advertising campaign.
Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale- The right handed starter joined the Goliaths as a free agent in the final year of his career. His spotless reputation on and off the field and a Perfect Game to his credit should be enough, but he hopes coming to San Francisco will earn him a ring and help him finally let go of the perfect love he left behind.
Marco Santiago- The left fielder was traded to the Goliaths by Hunter Collins. He wants nothing more than to prove he’s worth taking a chance on, but his feelings for his new owner may be worth more than any championship.
Nathan Cooper- The left handed relief pitcher was suspended for steroid use. After his trade to St. Louis for outfielder Marco Santiago, the injury he’d tried to cover up requires season-ending surgery. Will it also end his career? Even if he can make a comeback, is he worthy of the chance to prove himself to the supermodel next door?
Bryce Baxter- The All-Star shortstop works hard and plays harder. Known as much for his golden hair as his Golden Glove, he’s a player in every sense of the word. Signing a long-term contract will change his life, but not as much as the news the red-hot reporter Rachel Parker drops on him.
Ryan Fletcher- A promising young rookie who can play second, shortstop, and third base. He just needs to learn how to lay off the high fast ones—pitches and women.
Hunter Collins inherited the Goliaths after her father’s death. She wants to prove to the league that she can build a champion. She trades for Marco Santiago, believing he will help the team win it all. Can he win her heart as well?
Henry Collins purchased the Goliaths, preventing the team from moving to Florida in the early 90s. He passes away before the team is able to win their first title in San Francisco.
Marvin Dempsey became a partner in the year 2000 as an investor in the new ballpark. He buys back shares from Hunter Collins and Clayton Barry shortly before the first World Series victory.
Clayton Barry was brought in as a partner in order to keep the new ballpark a privately funded endeavor. His greed gets him involved in a side business, FITNatural, a nutritional supplement company that also deals in banned substances. He agrees to sell his share of the team to keep the Goliaths out of the scandal and to pay for his impending divorce.
Coaches and Staff
Juan Javier is a former catcher and well respected Manager of the Goliaths who can lead them to their first World Series victory in more than half a century.
Michael “Sully” Sullivan is the clubhouse manager who got his start as a clubhouse attendant when the team moved from New York. He helped raise Hunter Collins from the time she was seven. Nothing happens in or outside of the ballpark that he doesn’t know about.
The Broadcasting Team
Rachel Parker is the in-game reporter for Bay Area Sports Net. Her job is to bring the ballpark experience home to the viewers and give them the chance to get to know the players. In uncovering Johnny Scottsdale’s secret, she also discovers a side to Bryce Baxter she never expects.
Kip Michaels is a former pitcher and beloved color commentator. His authentic language and enthusiasm for the game makes the viewers at home feel like they’re in the dugout with the team.
Kurt Dwyer is the play-by-play announcer. He was an infielder famous for hitting exactly one home run in the big leagues. His knowledge of the sport is only exceeded by his love for the game.
Alice Harrison As Director of the Harrison Foundation, she works to help underprivileged kids learn about teamwork, nutrition and fitness, violence prevention, and literacy through their partnership with the Goliaths. She traded her dreams so that Johnny Scottsdale could make it as a ballplayer.
Annabelle Jones, The former super model filed for divorce from Clayton Barry amid the FITNatural scandal. She hopes to resurrect her modeling career and regain her independence, but an accident forces her to rely on the hunky yet mysterious man next door.
Zach Harrison, Helping with the foundation youth camp, Alice’s son gets to work with his idol. He’s Johnny Scottsdale’s biggest fan, and maybe something more.
Sophie and Olivia Barry. The six-year old twin daughters of Annabelle Jones and Clayton Barry, who despite their parents’ recent divorce, still believe in a happily-ever-after.
Hailey Baxter- The nine-year-old daughter from Bryce Baxter’s first marriage lives in Pittsburgh with her mother. Bryce will do anything for his little girl even if it means signing a lucrative contract on the other side of the country.
Bruce Sanders Nathan Cooper’s former catcher now runs a baseball training facility. Injured in a collision at the plate shortly before making it to the majors, he now imparts his baseball wisdom on Southern California’s youth and a certain stubborn former teammate.
Brandon Sanders Bruce Sanders’ nephew is a promising college catcher spending his off-season helping Cooper get back in the game. Don’t be surprised to find him on a major league roster someday.
Jillian Baxter After a one night stand with Bryce Baxter, she finds herself pregnant. While they married, their relationship was blowout from the beginning.
Isadora “Izzy” Santiago It wasn’t easy raising future All-Star Marco Santiago on her own. It’s even harder seeing him almost blow his chances with the woman he loves.
Denton Charles Whittaker, III While his family owns the naming rights to the ballpark in Dallas, they don’t own the rights to his heart. Thirty years after his first love was sent away, he finds out she carried a secret. One with his blue eyes and a talent for baseball.
With a divorce in the works, Annabelle Jones heads out to Southern California, the land of sun and starting over. She wants to prove to herself and her young daughters that she still has what it takes to turn heads as a swimsuit model—that she doesn’t need a man to take care of her. Until an accident forces her to rely on the hunky, yet mysterious man next door…Nathan Cooper is trying to revive his own career. Once a top left-handed relief pitcher, he tried to get over a hidden injury with the aid of banned substances. Not only was he caught and suspended, he was traded and missed out on winning the championship. Now he’s a free agent without a contract, and that means life is ready to play ball…
Check out the More Than A Game series:
“Hi.” Annabelle stood on his doorstep with a smile and the bottle of healing lotion. “I tried this stuff on my shoulder and it works. It really works.”
“Good. I’m glad.” He was also relieved she wasn’t here for an emergency. “It’s all-natural. Really, not just as an advertising claim. It’s made by a little old lady from—”
“Pasadena?” She interrupted him with a wide grin and a twinkle in her beautiful blue eyes.
“No. Mendocino.” Why did she have to be so great? Funny and sweet and appreciative. Why couldn’t she be more like her ex? A spoiled, rich asshole.
“And have you met this little old lady personally?” She still had a smile on her face. Or most of her face, the left side didn’t quite go up as much as her right, with the giant gash on her face.
He clenched his fists to keep from reaching for her. “Yes. I have. She was at a farmer’s market and she charmed me into buying a whole case of the stuff.”
“Well, I’m glad you did, because it really does help.” Annabelle moved toward him, as if she wanted to come in. Or tell him a secret. “But I can’t reach my back. Would you mind?”
He stepped back so she could come in. She smelled of lavender and rosemary and eucalyptus and something even sweeter.
A hard rock song blasted from his weight room speakers.
“Let me go turn that off.” He moved down the hallway and she followed.
Annabelle stopped in the doorway of the dining room he’d converted to a home gym and laughed. “Is that me? I don’t remember them doing a poster of that cover.”
“They didn’t. I had it done.” It had been ten years ago and he still hung the framed picture in every place he lived. “A buddy of mine worked at this place that could turn anything into a poster for twenty bucks.”
“Twenty bucks, huh?” She gave him a look that might have been disapproving, if not for the way her eyes crinkled at the corners and her lips twitched trying to hold back a smile. “That’s some pretty expensive artwork.”
“I paid another thirty for the frame.” He stood there feeling every bit the twenty-one-year-old who’d been so obsessed with Annabelle he’d convinced his friend to risk his job in making the poster when he didn’t have the rights to the photo.
“Fifty bucks, huh. Quite an investment.”
“I was young. I wanted to class up my first apartment.” He wondered briefly if she would have been interested in him back then. Would she have even looked twice at an up-and-coming ballplayer who thought he was the next hot prospect?
“I was even younger.” She approached the poster he had hanging over his weight bench. There was something almost wistful in her tone. “I was so young.”
He watched her study herself and wondered what she must be thinking. Probably that he was some kind of stalker and she would be calling her lawyer when she got home.
“So you really do use me.” She laughed, turning around to show an amused grin on her face. “Does that help you add cardio to your workouts?”
“Huh?” He was surprised at how lightly she was taking this.
“You know, getting your heart rate up?” Her gaze drew over him, settling just below his waist. “Among other things.”
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Special thanks to Kristina Mathews & Tasty Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway