Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Fighter Girl by Kathryn James
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: May 17th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

“It began three days ago with a fight. Seems that for me, everything begins with a fight…”
Sammy Jo may be strong, fast and tough, even in heels, but she gets into trouble when she fights some local thugs to save a rich boy named Gregory.
Now bad guy McCloud is after her – and he’s even more dangerous than her forbidden love for Gregory.
Fighter Girl was published in the United Kingdom under the title GYPSY GIRL.


Kathryn lives in Leicester with her family, writing full time (and loves that!) Kathryn always wanted to become an author and wrote her first story at age eight. But it took quite a while and lots of different jobs before she got published.

She's worked with gypsy and traveller children, working from a converted bus with a rainbow on the side, doing video and photography projects, and documenting travelling lives.
Mist draws on and is influenced by her work with this community.

She's also written scripts for a local video production company, many of them for children and teenagers.

The noise rose again, to a continual roar as the men gathered around the cage for the next bout. It was two heavyweight fighters, prowling around the ring, eyeing each other like wolves. And that’s how the crowd was treating them, holding onto the bars, rattling them, yelling and shouting. Kimmy was pushing her way back to me. She organized my fights, took bets, got my winnings, made sure we were paid in full, and most importantly, she watched my back and got me away from there after I won, as quickly as she could. Sometimes the men didn’t like paying out money because a girl had beaten their fighter. “You’re on next,” she said. “Win and we’ll make good money.” 
I took off my zip-up and began to jog on my toes, warming my muscles. Euston was still watching me. So was Gregory, standing all alone amid the crowd as they pushed him this way and that. All they saw was a girl in spandex shorts, black gloves, and a crop top, with long hair in a plait that came to her waist. Once Euston saw how slight I was, he began to relax. He was wrong. He thought that strength only came with big muscles.
And Gregory? What did he think of me? I still couldn’t read his face.
I waited, jogging and doing my stretches, Kimmy by my side and Gregory watching, as the two heavyweights finished their fight. As they were helped from the ring, one of them shaking drops of blood from a cut eyebrow, music began blaring from loudspeakers. It told everyone a new fight was going to start.
“Make way for the next contestants!” bellowed the scar-faced manager.
A corridor opened up in the packed crowd that ended at the door of the cage. Kimmy led me through, lashing out at the hands that reached out to touch me, yelling at the men to keep back, hitting them if they didn’t move out of the way fast enough. 
I didn’t know where Gregory was. He wasn’t following us. I thought for a moment that maybe he’d taken the opportunity to leave and forget he’d ever been brought to a place like this. I ducked into the cage and moved over to the middle, the lights blinding me for a moment until my eyes got used to the brightness. He hadn’t walked out. He’d made his way to the front, two meters from me, crushed in on all sides by supporters trying to get the best view of the fight. He was holding on to the bars with his hands. If he hated me, he didn’t show it. If he liked the thought of watching me fight, he didn’t show that either. He looked like he was afraid for me. No one had ever been afraid for me before.
I jogged on the spot as I waited for my opponent to make his way into the cage. All around me the men shouted and howled at me. All except Gregory. He made no sound, he just watched. I breathed in the smell of sweat and the metallic tang of blood, mixed with the hundred different aftershaves and perfumes that wafted from the crowd surrounding the cage. I could see Kimmy pushing her way to Gregory’s side and hanging onto the bars so that she could shout instructions and encouragement to me during the fight.
All I needed now was Euston. The music kept playing; the crowd kept cheering, but a minute passed, which is a long time to be bouncing on your toes in a cage, waiting. The cheering changed to boos.
Something was wrong.
The manager was at the cage door arguing with someone. It wasn’t Euston. He wasn’t the problem. I could see him near the door with his trainer, who was looking annoyed.  I glanced around for Kimmy, but she wasn’t by the bars anymore. She was fighting her way toward the manager. But it wasn’t him she was aiming for. She was shouting at someone, telling them to go away, to get lost.
I gave up on the jogging and went over to Gregory. The crowd was turning around, looking at someone who was approaching the ring. “What’s happening?” I said to him. “I don’t know.”  
“New fighter coming,” said a man pushing his way to the front, beside Gregory.  “He’s paid to fight you!” He leered at me. “He must really want to beat you.”
My hand was on the bars as I strained to see. Gregory slid his down and grasped mine. I think he’d seen the fighter. “You’re going to fight him? Are you crazy or is this a fix?” he asked, urgently. I pulled my hand away. I didn’t care who I fought. He was scared for me, but I scare myself. I’m too good. Someone should stop me.
I could hear Kimmy above all the men, her higher voice carrying. She was still shouting at someone to go away—the new fighter, I supposed. Yelling at him that Sammy-Jo had an opponent, she didn’t need another. Yelling at the manager that he should stick to the deal and not change sides just because he was offered lots of money.
But the crowd didn’t seem to mind. They were urging the new fighter to get in the ring. All I could see was the top of the new fighter’s head as he began to push his way through the crowd. I backed away, into the center of the cage, my heart starting to pound. Gregory was right. Kimmy was right. Not him. He should go away. I didn’t want to fight him. But it was too late. He was ducking through the door and strutting towards me.
I could hardly catch my breath. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole.

“Looks like you’re going to fight me,” said Rocky.


Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

  • $5 Amazon Gift Card + eBook copy of Fighter Girl

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