Spotlight & Giveaway: Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins

Posted March 23rd, 2014 by in Blog, Spotlight / 106 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins to HJ!

Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Kristan, Welcome 🙂

Thanks for having me, Sara!

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title of the book should be? Why?

Kristan HigginsUm…How about The Many Fictional Husbands of Kristan Higgins?

Which of your prior characters would you most/least likely invite to dinner and why?

Least likely is easy—it would be Linda, Harper’s mother in MY ONE AND ONLY. She was one of the few characters I didn’t redeem. See, I love writing bad guys, love a nice juicy nemesis for my hero or heroine, but Harper’s mother left her when she was 13 and never looked back. Her reason was completely selfish, and she never owned what that did to her daughter. When my own princess read that scene, she sobbed. How dare you, Linda! How dare you make my daughter cry!

Most likely…that’s tough. I love all my characters (except Linda). If I had my heroes over, I’d start crushing on them again, and so I’d feel like I was the evil other woman, and my heroine would be giving me these looks, and then we wouldn’t be friends anymore. So I’ll go with a few secondary characters—John Holland and Mrs. Johnson from the Blue Heron books; BeverLee, Harper’s stepmother in MY ONE AND ONLY; Margs, Grace’s sister in TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE; and for purely aesthetic reasons, Joe Carpenter the Carpenter from FOOLS RUSH IN.

Let’s talk about your newest release: Waiting On You

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here…

WOYColleen O’Rourke is the resident expert on love…except when it comes to herself. For ten years, she’s been content to flirt and have a fling here and there, but she’s never gotten over her first love, who left her to marry someone else. But now Lucas Campbell has come back to Manningsport to take care of his dying uncle, and they both find that the pull of first love is still as strong as ever. Lucas has a life back in Chicago, and Colleen isn’t about to let him back into her heart and do the same kind of damage he did last time…except she kinda sorta can’t help herself.

Please tell us about the characters in your book.

You bet! Colleen is one of my favorite heroines ever, because she’s the sort of person I wish I’d been. She’s funny, loyal, outgoing, confident and has a gooey caramel center that you might not expect. She’s also a twin, and I love her interactions with her brother, who is alternately protective and irritated with his sister. Together, they run O’Rourke’s, one of two restaurants in town.

Lucas Campbell is a brooding kind of hero who tries to take care of everyone and everything. He’s absolutely decent and noble, but he has a hard time expressing himself, and way back when, he made a huge mistake. The last thing he wants is to hurt Colleen again, and he can’t see how they can make a life together, since she’s the heart of her little town, and he can’t wait to get away.

As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

For Colleen, it was how much of a softy she is. In the first two Blue Heron books, we see her confident, fun-loving side…she’s an accomplished flirt and a loyal friend. But in her own book, she surprised me a bit by how much she was willing to put up with in order to be a good sister to Savannah, her father’s daughter from his second marriage, and how good she was to her mom and grandfather.

For Lucas, I was surprised at the depth of his loneliness. All his life, Lucas has tried to do the right thing and be a good guy, and yet he has no idea just how much he brings to the table. That sense of being on the outside, looking in…that just broke my heart in the best and most wonderful way, because like Colleen, I just wanted to take him home and love him up, you know? (Don’t tell McIrish I said that.)

What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why?

The scene where Colleen cooks dinner. As someone who rather hates cooking, I loved writing this scene. See, Colleen is spoiled; Connor, her twin, is the chef, she owns a pub, so she never has to cook. But she wants to impress Lucas, and, well…she overcommits just a tad. This opens with Colleen way behind schedule and Lucas knocking on her door. She won’t let him in because she’s just a little panicked.

At the moment, she was wearing a now-filthy, beet-stained, scallop-stained, everything-stained O’Rourke’s T-shirt with the sweatpants she’d stolen from Connor last month and hemmed by hacking off four inches at the bottom, and it wasn’t as sexy as it sounded.
The smoke could dissipate on its own. She had to beautify. She yanked off her shirt, tripping over Rufus. “Sorry, baby.”
“Did you say something?” Lucas asked. He may have been laughing.
“Shut up! Just wait for me!” The shirt caught on her hair clip, tugging painfully, and she whacked her knee on the door frame, then staggered into the door so that it slammed into the wall.
“Colleen?”
“I’m coming! Just keep your pants on.”
Seven minutes later, she was slightly sweaty but totally gorgeous, please God. Tight black dress, hair down (if perhaps smelling of charred mollusks), some lip gloss, long silver earrings, barefoot because she’d spilled some boiling water on her foot and her slutty shoes were a bit painful to begin with.
Oh, crikey. She needed a nap. And possibly the fire department.
But no, no, Lucas was here. Her one and only love, etc. etc., and yes, she was excited about that. It would’ve been nice if she had time for a shower, but hey. What was a girl to do? She opened the door.
“Hi,” she said, trying for dew-kissed and sultry, and her voice did sound huskier, thanks to the smoke inhalation from earlier. “Come on in.” Rufus began his Serenade of the Visitor. Ah rah! Ah rah! Ah rooroo rah!
“It smells so good in here,” Lucas said. “Were you burning feathers?”
“Hush, boy. It’ll be delicious. I had a slight fire. It was nothing. Wine?”
“Sounds like I’ll need some.” He held out a bouquet of yellow roses.
“Thanks,” she said.
They were her favorite. He remembered.
Le sigh.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

The scenes that are hardest to write for me are the heartbreakers, but I also love writing those the most. I always say that if I don’t cry while writing a book, I’m not doing my job. Here’s a little bit about Lucas’s life when he goes to live with his aunt, uncle and cousin.

When it came time for back-to-school shopping, Didi bought Bryce’s clothes from Hollister, and Lucas’s from Kmart. Point taken. Joe bought him a new baseball glove for his birthday, the first never-been-used glove he’d ever had, despite playing for a couple of years already, and five minutes after he opened the package, Didi’s tight lips and hissing whispers managed to convince Joe that Lucas didn’t need a new glove. But Bryce did. Lucas could have Bryce’s old glove.
And so it went. It was Didi’s job that afforded the big house and tricked-out car in the garage (“Isn’t it cool that your niece and our car have the same name?” Bryce said once). Didi was vice president of something, whereas Joe worked from home, and somewhat sporadically.
But despite his uncle’s assurances that they were thrilled to have him, despite Bryce’s adoration, Lucas had never felt so alone. He missed Stephanie, who was kind of a screwup, sure, but who was also funny and who let him have ice cream every night the year after Mom died, when Dad worked nights. He missed his niece, who smiled and drooled on him and babbled at him. Her first word had been Wookus and everything.
Being half–Puerto Rican was not a big deal in his old neighborhood, but here in the suburbs, he was the only non-white, as far as he could tell. He missed people knowing who he was—Dan’s son, Steph’s brother, widely regarded as a good kid. He missed his room with the poster of Yoda on one wall, one of Michael Jordan on the other.
Here at Didi’s, the walls were bare. His bedspread was blue, the sheets new and stiff, the bed tightly made, unlike the nest of soft old blankets on his bunk bed back home. Didi asked him to throw out his battered feather pillow, saying she’d bought him a new pillow, and his probably had any manner of microscopic life growing in it.
He tried to stay out of the way.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie?

Well, though he’s not the right ethnicity for Lucas, I confess to having had Kit Harington in mind for Lucas. It’s the hair. That is some amazing hair. For Colleen, I think I’d go with Eva Mendez (again, wrong ethnicity, I know, but who cares!). She’s got such confidence and humor, and I love her madly.

If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?

I’d never give them advice, because then they wouldn’t screw up, and there’d be no book. No, the whole fun in any romance is the difficulty the two characters have in finding their way to each other, or in this case, back to each other.

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2014?

At this very moment, I’m finishing up IN YOUR DREAMS, which is the fourth book in the Blue Heron series. A reluctant hero, a surprising heroine, some great issues, a wardrobe malfunction for the ages, and a puppy.

Where can readers get in touch with you?

www.KristanHiggins.com and www.Facebook.com/KristanHigginsBooks.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

GIVEAWAY: I’ll give away a signed copy of THE BEST MAN and THE PERFECT MATCH to one commenter. International’s okay.

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: Who was your first love? Did it take, or is he or she a fond/bitter memory now?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt

This is when Lucas and Colleen meet again for the first time since he broke her heart ten years before. She’s trying to set up her friend with Bryce, who happens to be Lucas’s cousin.

“What are you doing?” said a low voice behind her.
Colleen’s heart froze, as though she’d swallowed a large ice cube, and it was stuck right over her heart.
She turned around.
Yep. Lucas Campbell.
None other. Standing approximately two feet from her, looking at her with those knowing, dark eyes.
Her skin suddenly felt tight. Mouth: dry. Brain: dead.
“What are you doing, Colleen?” Lucas asked again.
“Nothing,” she said as if it hadn’t been ten years since she’d last seen him. “What are you doing?”
“I’m here to see my cousin.”
“So go see your cousin.”
“What are you doing to my cousin?”
“I’m not doing anything to your cousin.” So mature. And did they have nothing else to say to each other? Ten years apart? A river of tears (hers) and blood (his…well, she wished it was his blood).
Lucas just looked at her, his pirate eyes unreadable.
Shit.
Of all the gin joints in all the world, she started thinking, then squelched a blossom of slightly hysterical laughter.
Lucas Damien Campbell was here. Here in her bar. You think he could’ve called? Would that have been so much to ask, huh? Hmm? Would it? Hey, Colleen, I’m coming to visit my cousin, so be prepared, okay?
Colleen took a ragged breath, then coughed to cover. Unfortunately, the cough became genuine, and tears came to her eyes as she hacked and choked.
“You okay?” he asked in that ridiculously sexy, river-of-dark-chocolate voice.
“Yes,” she wheezed, wiping her eyes. “Just great.”

106 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins”

  1. Monique D

    He’s just a memory, neither good nor bad. It was a good thing it didn’t last too long because it would have ended badly.

  2. Christine L.

    My first love was my high school boyfriend. When his parents divorced, he moved away with his mom and brothers and he and I lost touch after that. And, no, I have NOT looked him up on any of the social media sites!

  3. Jennifer Zorko

    My first love was a high school crush. He is just a memory now, fond yes, distant….yes. Glad that it is just a memory.

  4. Leanna

    My tirst love was Chris. It wasn’t a bad breakup we wanted different things. I don’t think about him ever. We live 1200 miles apart and talk on facebook sometimes.

  5. marcy shuler

    I married the first man I truly loved. It’ll be 23 years in June.

    I love the Blue Heron series and can’t wait until Tuesday so I can read WAITING ON YOU! I love Kristan Higgins and can highly recommend her books! 🙂

  6. Glenda

    My first love was in high school. We wanted different things from life and happily mutually ended things. Sweet memories.

  7. Carol L

    Love Kristan’s books. My first love is thought of fondly. We parted friends after a summer romance. 🙂
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  8. Sarah M.

    What a tough question! My first love was my ex-husband. He was my first boyfriend, and I married him. It didn’t work out in the end, though the marriage lasted over 11 years. There are both fond and bitter memories, but I take joy in the fact that they are only memories! :0)

    I love Kristan’s books and can’t wait to read this one!

  9. mrsmac19

    I have (reasonably) fond memories of my first love. We were HS sweethearts, but didn’t last past our second year of college. I haven’t spoken to him in 15+ years, but heard he recently married. I’ve been married for almost 11 years. I’m glad he’s found the right person. I’m happy for him 🙂

  10. Carrie E

    I dated a few, but married my first love. After 20+ years and 5 kids, he’s even more fabulous than he was before!

  11. Janice Hougland

    Who was my first love? Hmm. Do crushes count? I don’t think so. So I’ll have to go with my first husband, We met in college and I fell for him like a ton of bricks. It definitely was the very first time I ever felt that way about a man. I was giddy. He was my world. We married during my junior year because he graduated and we had to go where he got a job…and I wasn’t going to let him out of my sight. I guess he agreed because we got married. 🙂 It lasted 12 years and two beautiful children later. No fights, no animosity…we both of us just grew up and were different people and didn’t see eye-to-eye anymore…and no sparks between us even. That was sad. But still, he was my first love. Thanks for asking! Hello Kristan! Love your stories.

  12. Cari White

    What I thought was my first love was really infatuation. My true first love was, is and always will be my husband of almost 24 years. We’ve been together 27 years. We met when I was 19 and he was 22. Married when I was 22 and he was 26.

  13. Barbara Hopkins

    We met when I was 16 years old, and engaged later on to be married. By parents agreed to it as long as we waited a year. We thought it would be easy because he was going to be over sea’s for a year. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, to be separated like that for so very long. To this day my big brother says we should have married, but alas separation changes you. And it did change him, he just could not go through with our engagement, because he had done things that as he put it, were wrong. So my happy ending well it just never was. I guess you could say I never got my happy ending. But, I didn’t let it make me bitter, I try to look at it as some of us just were meant to be alone. Whether or not I ever understand as to why.

  14. Meridith C.

    My first love was while I was in high school. I was a sophomore and he was a senior. We met during rehearsals for the high school play that year. It was a whirlwind relationship that lasted only a few weeks.

  15. Sue

    My first true love…met him in high school, didn’t date until after, had a great thing going but alas it was not meant to be. I have many great memories of him 🙂

  16. Diana Huffer

    My first love was when I was about 7 or 8 years old and his name was Jay. We spent a lot of time together, in school and out. At one point, he brought me a very special gift. Mom heard knocking at the door and when she answered, there stood Jay with a brown paper bag. He handed it to mom and said it was a present for me. Mom looked inside the bad and nearly had a heart attack! Inside the bag was the body of a dead bat that Jay said he’d run over with his bike. So sweet, huh? ~LOL~ Unfortunately, we had to move and he and I lost track of each other. He is definitely a fond memory today. 🙂

  17. Rebe

    My first High School boyfriend was a sweetheart – I don’t know that I’d call him my first love, though. He’s now married with 4 kids and looks exactly like his Dad did when we were in HS, lol. Glad I missed that boat! 😉

  18. Christine

    My first love was in high school. We’re both married to others now. I have good and bad memories of the relationship, but mostly good.

  19. Robin the Book Nerd

    Ya my first love didn’t turn out to well. 🙁 but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

  20. Margaret

    I dated and had what I thought was love, but realized after I met my hubby that it was more infatuation/lust. So, only one true love for me – still going strong after 20 years!

  21. Marguerite Guinn

    I married my first love. Our life was sometimes crazy but always happy! He died last year following a long illness – I miss him very much!

    • Anna

      My first love? Well it wasn’t meant to be, but then again I was 20, so how much lasts at that age?

  22. Lori Duhoski

    I read all of Kristan’s books as soon as the come out.
    She is one of my favorite authors

  23. Wendy Dekker

    My first love was my first boyfriend for over a year. Am very thankfull to him, as his little sister has been my best friend for over ten years now. Him and me… not so much, we talk at parties at his sisters, but otherwise I’m very happy not to have more contact with him 😉

  24. Schiavonn

    We met when we were 16. Started dating when we were 17 and got married at 21. lOl It’s been 14 years of wedded ups and downs and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. <3

  25. Kayla B

    My first love was my best friend growing up. Our parents pretty much made us get together all the time, and much like romance novels start out on, we hated each other for most of our childhood. He would pull my hair and put bugs in my hair. I would take his video games and hide them, or freeze his underwear (still proud of this one). As we grew up, we grew apart and it wasn’t until many years later we ran into each other at a mutual friends party. We finally admitted to having a ‘crush’ on each other all those years ago. Eventually things didn’t work out, so now it’s just a memory. Great ones at that.

  26. Robbi

    My first love was pretty much a one-sided infatuation. I’m sure he thought I was an idiot, but I was convinced that someday love would prevail. It didn’t. I think I would be embarrassed if I ever came face to face with him again. I love Kristan’s books. They make me laugh and cry.

  27. KayLeigh Curry

    David P. I had to move away and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do!

  28. Brenda Willis

    Married mine. I posted this on my FB page yesterday. 7 years married today! whew!…how does it go?…”Not once have we ever had an argument serious enough to consider divorce; murder, yes, but divorce no, never.” A favorite city in Louisiana later this week to celebrate!!

  29. Michele Arnold

    My first true love – Brett. 32 years ago when I was just sweet 16! Always will be a fond memory!

  30. Jan H.

    My first “true” love remained a friend for many years. I credit him for helping me through the most difficult times and for making me feel so very special in his eyes. He will always be in my heart and I will always wish him well.

  31. nikkiphilton

    My first love is a sweet memory! We were in 5th grade. He had the most awesome red curls and was covered in freckles. His nickname was Bubba. No one even called him by his real name until he went off to college!

  32. Laurie G

    My first love occurred during my Sophomore and Junior years of high school. He proceeded to drop me my Senior year for a Freshman and he didn’t even have the courage to tell me to my face. I did talk to him a few years after graduation. I’m glad it didn’t work out. He was a jerk.

  33. cherylsds

    Our time was mid 80’s and now is just a memory. It’s a fabulous memory that I will cherish always 🙂 *sigh* We reconnected a couple years ago and are now friends.

  34. Kerry C

    My first love didn’t quite take, but is still my best friend. Things are constantly changing, so you never know!

  35. Cindy Tew

    I was in 8th grade. His name was Ronnie. His family moved away during the summer. A fond memory.

  36. Jen Santiago

    My first love is my husband. We met while I was in College but only started dating when I graduated. We’ve been marrried for almost 9years now 🙂

  37. Vanessa

    Oh, mine is kind of a sillygoofy memory. Maybe a bit embarrassing too. I was in elementary school and “loved” my next door neighbor Gary. I also read ALOT of fairy tales. For some reason I thought wooing him and kissing his hand was a brilliant idea… to some degree as an adult I kinda get what was up since I now know he is gay. Apparently I was picking up on his umm inner princess…..

  38. Cara

    I don’t think I’ve had a true first love yet…but my first crush was on a boy in my kindergarten class:)

  39. Iris Johnson

    My first true love ~~~ my first daughter ~~~ and then my next two daughters and my husband. I think the first time you see your brand new baby, it’s the truest of love!

  40. Tammy Y

    I boy named mark – he married someone else and so did I. It was a heartbreaking break up

  41. Christine Kochanowski

    My first kid love is a fond memory. My first H.S. love was an abusive jerk who my now husband saved me from. Something good came from all the drama, a husband of 18 years who I am still in love with and two wonderful kids.

Please leave a comment