Hello, all! Thanks for joining me on my blog tour for Black Dog, the first book in my new Bannon’s Gym series. (Hot mixed martial arts fighters – rawwrrr!) I’m giving away a brand new Kindle Paperwhite loaded with my entire back list. Follow along at all my stops on this tour – and leave comments on each. Every comment counts as another chance to win! I’ll announce the winner on my blog on Friday, August 30th.
I’ve never been much of a sports fan, but the first mixed martial arts fight I ever saw had me glued to the edge of my chair. If you’ve seen the movie Haywire, featuring Gina Carano, the former women’s middleweight champ, you already know what I mean. I sat there in the theater, completely agog as she kicked the crap out of her male co-stars with ease.
Not long after, I stumbled across my first all-men’s fight on cable and the blatant homoeroticism (it’s not called a full contact sport for nothing!) and feral intensity blew me away. This particular fight only lasted one round – with the victor winning by KO with a vicious roundhouse kick – but that was it. I was well and truly hooked.
I quickly grew addicted to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I couldn’t afford the pay-per-views (fifty bucks a shot is a bit rich for this author’s blood), but I never missed the weekly show on FX. I started rooting for up and coming fighters like Adam Cella and Uriah Hall. I usually can’t stand reality shows, but I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
Then, inevitably, I started making up stories. I envisioned a gym on the less affluent side of a California beach town, run by a former MMA champion – a guy with a tragic past and an ex-lover who used to be a fighter himself. Then I got another idea, about a teenage runaway desperate to learn how to defend himself, and realized these were two halves of the same story. Angst and drama ensue (hey, it’s a Cat Grant book – angst and drama are my calling cards!), along with a fair amount of grunting, sweating and flying fists.
And here’s the hot trio I used for inspiration: Gerard Butler as Danny, owner of Bannon’s Gym. Michael Fassbender (naturally!) as Eddie, his on-again, off-again lover and James McAvoy (managing to look simultaneously adorable and badass) as Tom, the teenage runaway. Is it any wonder these characters kept me up writing ‘til 2 or 3 AM every night?
Danny Bannon and Eddie Roscoe have been fighting in and out of the ring for more than fifteen years, held together by mutual attraction and small-town ties, yet kept apart by a shared tragedy that continues to haunt them. Their steady on-again off-again is shaken up by the arrival of Tom Delaney, a teenage runaway trying to escape his tense home situation and his punch-happy dad.
In no time, the scrawny homeless kid has shown himself to be a boxing prodigy, and building him up brings Danny and Eddie closer than they’ve been in ages. It seems that the three of them, plus Eddie’s mother, Gloria, are forming a new family unit, much tighter than anything Tom experienced in his difficult past.
But Tom’s politically influential father isn’t the only person he left behind. When his mother shows up at Eddie and Gloria’s diner with a shiner and a haunted look in her eyes, Tom is hopeful for her future. But when that hope is snuffed out, Tom is ready to turn his new fighting skills to a deadly purpose: get revenge on his abusive father or die trying.
It’s up to his surrogate big brothers, Danny and Eddie, to put their differences and their painful history aside to prevent another tragic ending.
Cat Grant lives by the sea in beautiful Monterey, California, with one persnickety feline and way too many books and DVDs. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her watching movies or TV (Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries are among her favorite shows), singing along to whatever’s on her iPod, or fantasizing about kinky sex with Michael Fassbender.
Here’s Cat’s various hideouts on the Internet:
You can contact her directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can purchase Black Dog from the following e-tailers: