Jaunty P. Quills here, with an exclusive interview with a certain Kristan Higgins, here to talk about her book, THE BEST PORCUPINE! Now, from what I gather, it’s a tale of a certain spiky little fellow who sweeps a beautiful serving wench off her feet, am I correct?
KH: Pretty much, Jaunty! Except it’s about a human male, and there are no serving wenches, and I wouldn’t really say there’s sweeping. It comes out tomorrow. So exciting!
JPQ: I thought there was a porcupine in this book.
KH: There is. Take that, my fellow JQ authors! I did it again! Please note the following: Faith’s heart sat heavy in her chest. Like road kill, like a dead, stiff porcupine. Okay, that was a really pathetic image. Even now, the dead porcupine was resurrecting and giving her a reproachful look—I was just sleeping, dummy—but yeah, kind of.
JPQ: That’s the porcupine in the story?
KH: You’re welcome! Anyway, THE BEST MAN is about Faith Holland, returning to her hometown three years after she was jilted at the altar. Determined to finally get over the man who broke her heart, she’s equally determined to avoid his closest friend—their would-have-been best man—who knew all about the reasons why this marriage wasn’t going to work. As for Levi Cooper, he has no problem with Faith, other than the fact that she annoys him greatly. But you know how these things work. He doesn’t seem to like her, but deep down inside, he kinda sorta does. Like you and me, Jaunty.
JPQ: Yes, we do have that mysterious chemistry, don’t we? In fact, though I’m a little late for Valentine’s Day, I wonder —
KH: Back to me, Jaunty. One of the things I loved most in this book was the setting. Manningsport is in the heart of the wine-making region of New York, and a prettier place would be hard to find. A tiny town on the shores of Keuka Lake, rolling hills, farms and vineyards and a really good restaurant. Who could ask for anything more?
JPQ: Are there porcupines up there?
KH: Who knows? This book is the first in the Blue Heron series. Blue Heron is the family-run vineyard owned by the Holland family. It’s my first series ever, and I’m wicked excited! And another first for me: Levi, the hero, is a veteran. In honor of that, a portion of the first week’s sales will be donated to Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit that provides a home away from home for the families of recovering veterans or service members. (Pre-orders count, too!)
JPQ: Okay, okay, you’ve got me interested, dead porcupines aside. Go ahead, post an excerpt. I’m going to drown my sorrows in a nice dry Finger Lakes Riesling.
KH: Thanks, Jaunty! You do your thing. Here’s a bit from the day Faith’s wedding fell through. She flees the church for home, only to find that her fiancé has sent his best man to see how she’s doing. (And she’s not doing real well.)
A quiet knock came at the front door. She jerked it open, out of breath.
Ah. The other man she hated. Levi Cooper, Wedding Destroyer. “You,” she hissed.
He was still in his dress uniform, his chest full of ribbons and medals. Mr. Hero. “Jeremy sent me to check on you.”
“Take me to the airport,” she ordered.
His eyebrows rose, crinkling his forehead a little. “I don’t know about that.”
“Do what I say, Levi,” she said.
“Listen, you’re probably not—”
“Shush. Just take me there.”
Her father came up on the porch. “Faith, sweetpea, I was just coming to check on you. How are you, honey? This is such a shock, I don’t know what to—”
“Daddy, I’m going to San Francisco. Okay? I’ll call you when I land.”
“Wait a second, sweetie, slow down,” he said, glancing at Levi. Why? Why glance at the guy who ruined her wedding and kept Jeremy’s secret, huh? “I think you should stay here, baby, with your family. This is a tough, tough day, but we’ll get you through it.”
“I’m going to San Francisco. I have tickets,” Faith said.
“I—I—I—I have to get out of here, Dad,” she stammered, the hyperventilating starting up again. “I’ll just go to San Fran. Remember Liza? My friend from college? She lives there, so I won’t be alone. I’ll call her. She’s really fun. Okay? Call you later.”
“Now, Faith this doesn’t seem like a good idea.”
“Daddy, I need to get out of here. I’m going.”
“All right, all right. Settle down. Just…if you want to go, give me a minute, and I’ll pack some things and go with you. Okay?”
“No. I’m going alone. Right now. I have to get out of here or I’m going lose it, Dad.”
Her father looked startled. That’s right, Daddy, she thought irrationally. Don’t mess with me right now.
“Well, I’ll drive you. Don’t be silly, baby.”
“No. He’ll take me. Won’t you?” She narrowed her eyes at Levi, wishing looks really could kill.
Levi cleared his throat. “Is that all right, Mr. Holland?” he asked.
“Don’t ask him,” Faith snapped. “I’m giving you an order, soldier. Get to it.”
“Watch it,” he muttered.
Hope you like the book, gang! To order it, click any of the links below, and remember that your purchase this first week (and your preorders) will benefit the wonderful Fisher House Foundation!