Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday's Author Spotlight: L.G. Kelso

Today I’m really excited to have author L.G. Kelso on the Sunday’s Author Spotlight. L.G. Kelso is the author of ‘Fierce’, a New Adult Contemporary sports romance. ‘Fierce’ was published in August, 2014 and has an average rating of 4.02 on Goodreads and a 4.6 average rating on Amazon. This book sounds like a great read and it’s definitely on my TBR list. 

About 'Fierce':'s MMA career was taking off, until she beat the wrong man. Her training partner, nursing a bruised ego, snapped—shattering her trust and confidence.

Three years later, Tori’s keeping her fists to herself as she struggles to put herself through college. But when a group of gangbangers hassle her at work, old habits kick in and her fists fly. Max Estrada, a frequent diner customer, steps in and gets them out of hot water, but Tori is still fired... days before tuition is due.

With no other option, she’s forced to take a desk job at her old pounding grounds, where her demons still haunt the cage and the temptation to go glove-to-glove with familiar pro-fighter, Max Estrada, is too much. The sexy Colombian draws her back into the world of MMA and revives her dreams of becoming a professional face-puncher—until Will, her old partner and current Middleweight Champion, struts back into the gym. The secret they share is an unexpected liability to his career, and he's determined to keep her silent.

With her life on the ropes, Tori will have to face the past for a shot at winning back her future, or carry the weight of a loss even greater than before.

This book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

FIERCE is on sale for 0.99 CENTS today!!

This sale will only last a few days at the most.
Interested in getting FIERCE while it's on sale but also want to enter the giveaway? If you buy FIERCE, still enter the giveaway, and win the giveaway then I'll make sure you get a free copy of the next Whatever It Takes novel.

Guest Post by L.G. Kelso:


In short, FIERCE (A Whatever It Takes novel) is a challenge.  It's a challenge to stereotypes we place on women in the real world AND fiction.
I love to shred stereotypes. In FIERCE, our leading lady is Tori, a female fighter who is INTENSE. She's aggressive, she can abrasive, she can get pissed. She can react rather explosively.
Why is Tori like this? Not just because I love to destroy gender-stereotypes (cue evil laugh), and not just because I want the alpha, intense, get-pissed-off, punch-you-in-the-face-if-you-eff-with-her types to have a place in fiction.  Much of her anger and reasons for reacting explosively are related to what happened a few years before the start of ‘Fierce’ with her training partner (you'll have to read for that). Other reasons Tori can be in-your-face and aggressive: Tori started training and fighting when female fighting was still heavily looked down on.  While ‘Fierce’ is fiction, the MMA side of things is authentic and so I used the real timeline for female fighting.  In short, women weren't allowed to fight in the UFC until 2012 (THREE years ago. THREE. UFC was started TWENTY years ago).  You can read more about women's fight history in this blog post, if you'd like.  Tori had be tough to make it. She had to fight to be able to fight. She's a professional face-puncher, which requires a certain high-level of intensity and a-way-in-the-negative-range level of being gentle, soft, and outwardly vulnerable.
For the record, her anger and explosiveness are flaws that she has to work on throughout the novel. She does also have a vulnerable side.

Tori goes beyond dealing with fighting female-stereotypes that are often seen in the real world,  to fighting a stereotype so many female characters are locked into. So often do we read about angry guys who so often respond physically before thinking it through. Female characters, however, are often expected to be soft or docile, and get criticized when they aren't: They aren't supposed to be angry (because women never get angry??? I'm pretty sure that notion makes me angry), aren't supposed to use their fists or react explosively, they wipe the blood off the hero after he defends her, not cause the blood in the first place.  If you're like me, you're sick of these ridiculous expectations.

So, if you're me, as you write, you stay calm and break arms. Figuratively. My girl characters break arms. Or noses. Or whatever other body part is available.
Max, our leading male, is another stereotype-fighting character.  I see a lot of male-fighter related stereotypes in real life and fiction.  It often is something along the lines of manwhore, partier, overly controlling, relies on fists all the time, suave and smooth-talking, brain cells in question…  Hang on, I need to a second:


Ok, that's better. Seriously, though, I'm sure there are plenty of fighters who fall into that category, but it's a much smaller % than people assume, and I kind of loathe those stereotypes. Fighters can be pretty awkward and dorky (I say that with love, fighters).  Also, a lot of them are brilliant, in both fighting and other things. Fighting takes brain cells, and if you want to keep your brain cells, it takes even more brain cell usage. Seriously, fighting requires thinking on so many levels. So, Max. Max is a librarian, avid reader (obviously, right), and fighter. He's tough, he's a badass, but he's also awkward and blushes a lot and says dorky things and ERMAGAWD I just fell in love with him again. You also won't find the manwhore stereotype in Max. He's had two girlfriends in the past six years, and one was almost for six years.  He also has his shit together, and, overall, he's pretty stable. Tori isn't, but he is.

The next Whatever It Takes novels will continue to fight stereotypes in different ways, and continue to bring diversity (racial, socio-economic etc).  Max is up-and-coming; Shane is struggling. Tori is tomboy to the max; the next leading lady is more of a girly-girl and refuses to lose that side of her, while embracing being a female in the fight world differently. There is more romance in the next novels. FIERCE really focused on Tori's journey, with some romance and assistance from Max. The next novel is just more romantic and steamy, because that's what the story calls for.  I hope to bring more badassery, another tough heroine, and a hero fighting for, literally, everything.

Be sure to check enter the giveaway below for a chance to win an ebook of FIERCE.

Praise for 'Fierce':


“A unique twist on the fighter trope – FIERCE is a compelling, original read with my favorite kind of heroine (a kick-ass one).”
- New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cora Carmack

“If you’re looking for a strong heroine who stands out in the New Adult contemporary world, L.G. Kelso’s Fierce is the book for you. Why I loved it: A complex heroine dealing with inner and external obstacles; a romance that isn’t the character’s main goal (though it is hot!); powerful voice and an authentic journey into the MMA world.”
- Diana Gallagher, author of ‘What Happens in Water (Fall 2015, Spencer Hill Press)

“Definitely recommend it to anyone that has any interest in MMA field or just looking for a strong female lead with light romance to spice things up.”

“If you love contemporary romance, especially of the MMA variety, then I think you will really enjoy Fierce.  If you like books with strong female leads, then you most definitely will enjoy Fierce.”

“You can have a great set of characters but it is the plot that brings them to life and allows them to thrive. LG Kelso accomplished that so well.”

About the Author:

L.G. Kelso is a fantasy and contemporary novelist. Having grown up watching Xena and Hercules with her grandmother, she inherited her passion for all things magic, paranormal and mythological. She also has a probably unhealthy obsession with martial arts, and as a boxer she strives to give readers an authentic view of MMA in her contemporary sports novels.

For more information about L.G. Kelso and ‘Fierce’ please visit her website, Twitter, Facebook, her blog, NA Alley, Goodreads, Pinterest and Amazon


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