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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Guest Post with Author Abby Niles and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome Abby Niles to RFTC. Abby is celebrating the release of her book, Extreme Love and has stopped by to chat about MMA. Please give Abby a warm welcome.

Ever since Abby Niles picked up her first Sweet Valley High book in sixth grade and fell in love with Elizabeth and Todd, she's been hooked on romance. By the time she reached high school, she was devouring meatier romances with pirates, cowboys and knights. She never imagined that those years of reading would one day lead to her becoming a published author.

In her late twenties, after having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started doodling stories to keep her sanity. Next thing she knew, she was actually submitting to publishing houses. And was immediately rejected. That didn't stop her though. She found herself some kickass critique partners, honed her craft, and continued submitting.

And eventually sold a short story, then a novella, then a novel, and now a series.

Today, she juggles work, home life, and writing. It's not always easy, but hey, who said life was easy?

In her downtime, which isn't often, you can find her playing 'Just Dance' with her kids or trying to catch up on her never-ending to-be-read list. She also loves Zumba, and refuses to admit she looks more like Animal doing his Muppet flail than a sensual Latin dancer.

Places to find Abby:
| Site | Facebook | Twitter

Researching MMA

There were two reasons I went with an extreme fighter when I decided to write Caitlyn’s story.
  • Caitlyn needed a man who wouldn’t give up and an undefeated fighter who wasn’t used to losing was the perfect match for her.
  • I love the UFC.

I don’t just love the fighters. I love the sport. Everything about it: the training, the conditioning, the actual fights. I’m pretty proficient at MMA verbiage. I’ve been watching it long enough to know the names of submissive holds and the different types of punches. Here’s the issue with that, just because I’m ga-ga over the sport, doesn’t mean everyone who reads the book is. They may have only seen a few fights, maybe none at all, but they still enjoy a romance with an extreme fighter as the hero.

I wanted to share my passion for the sport though. However, I didn’t want to get too technical and start tossing out words that would leave some readers wondering what the heck I meant, which is one reason I showed the fighting scenes from Caitlyn’s POV at some point. She could simplify the action in a way Dante couldn’t. He’s wouldn’t think of a fighter’s head and arm encircled by the legs of his opponent as a fighter with his head caught in some kind of constrictive leg hold. Dante would think of it as an arm triangle choke. I didn’t feel that letting Dante be narrator of an entire fight was fair to a reader not familiar with MMA jargon and had no idea what an arm bar or superman punch was.

You’d think that simplifying would be easy. It wasn’t. I quickly learned that even though I instantly recognized a guillotine choke when I saw one, I really didn’t know the mechanics of it. I’d spent years watching fights and The Ultimate Fighter, yet I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. So I enlisted the help of a close friend. He’s a member of a local training facility and was able to get me in so I could observe some training sessions. Now, those were informative. They explained to me how a fighter went from a half-guard to pulling off a submissive hold…how the fighter paid attention to the movements of his opponents so he can keep control, all this while the opponent is using different techniques to break free from the hold. The small things that I think get overlooked during a fight by the fans. The knowledge these men have to have of their martial art is massive.

I also learned some things. Heavy bag drills hurt. Lactate acid builds up in the arms and shoulders muscles and stings like crazy. And some of their drills can last for over three minutes. Talk about pushing through the pain. I actually took up hitting a bag after I started writing Extreme Love, and received an eye-opening introduction to this sting. I could only make it about thirty seconds before my arms were complete mush. But hitting a bag is exhilarating. I loved it, and I still go to the gym with my boxing gloves (yes, they are pink) and do a few drills.

I also started doing pad work. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s where you have someone standing in front of you with focus pads on their hands. They call out a number that corresponds to a certain punch, i.e. one is a jab, while two is a left, right, and you punch the pads at their command. You can also do this with kicks. It was exhausting, I sweated in a way I’d never sweated before, but I loved it!

I already respected the sport before I started writing Extreme Love, but having a taste of what these guys do in training only increased my respect. If you have never hit a bag, I recommend it. It will give you some insight into what these guys do every day, and I’m telling you, you’ll be awed.

Dani, thank you so much for having me today and letting me share some of the things I learned while researching!

Abby


New body. New clothes. New men.

Used to the average Joe, Caitlyn Moore is overwhelmed when the supremely masculine Dante Jones walks into her life and expresses an interest in her. At first she pushes him away, refusing to encourage the attention of a cage fighter. Then she learns Dante has a love ‘em and leave ‘em reputation. What better way to fine-tune her non-existent flirting skills than with a male who won’t stick around? But Dante has no intention of being a practice dummy; he’s out for all or nothing. Now Caitlyn must accept Dante—violent career and all—or let him go.

Dante “Inferno” Jones has one goal: win the Welterweight Championship. At a time when focus is crucial, the last thing he needs is a distraction. Yet Caitlyn Moore becomes a challenge he can’t resist. When the light-hearted pursuit shifts to a battle to win her heart, his focus is shot. Faced with losing the biggest match of his career, Dante must decide if his extreme life also has room for Extreme Love.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

Check out what's up for grabs.


Up For Grabs:
  • 1 lucky winner will win an eBook copy of Extreme Love

To Enter: 
  • Please leave a meaningful comment/question for Abby.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

47 comments :

  1. I think it's very cool that you are into this sport. I know nothing about it, but your book sounds like a great love story and I'm glad you were cautious about terminology. I don't like to stop and google things while I'm reading a book. I have always wanted to do kick boxing or something similar, and have recently been talking to a friend about taking a class. Who knows, maybe after reading your book I'll be inspired . . . and won't be able to type anymore comments because my hands will be a wreck. : )

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    1. Thanks Leslie! Kickboxing classes are a lot of fun. We have a combat type class at my gym, which is kicking and punching. I honestly feel like I could kick some serious butt after I get out of one those classes. lol

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  2. Sounds and looks like a very interesting read.

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  3. I can't wait to read this book... I love MMA and I would LOVE to know who your Favorite UFC fighter is.... Mine is Forrest Griffan though you just don't see much about him anymore...... Thank you for this giveaway and the chance to enter!!!

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    1. You're welcome, Angela! Thanks for stopping by. My favorite fighter is GSP. Georges St. Pierre. I also love Forrest Griffan, but like you said you don't see much of him anymore.

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  4. Ooh, I want to read this!

    Thank you so much for the giveaway – fingers crossed!

    Best Wishes,
    Lindsey V.

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  5. I can't wait to read this one, I love books with fighters in it.
    thanks for this giveaway

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    1. You're welcome, Heather. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I have a hard time relating to, but do respect them for what these guys do, training or fighting. I took a self defense class once and it was really hard to punch out at something and mean it!
    I do love this subject tho since reading Lori Fosters series. I am excited to read your new book, congratulations!

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  7. Sounds and looks like a very interesting read.

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  8. I am not a watcher of this sport, but I love reading about them. I have saw the odd match on TV, but watching and reading about it our too different things. I much prefer to read about it.. I too love Lori Foster's Fighter Boys and I am sure I will love reading Abby's stories too.

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    1. Yes, reading and watching are definitely two different things. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Boxing was a huge tv sport when I was little. My brothers loved it.

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    1. Was for me too. I grew up watching Mike Tyson. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Thanks for the fun post and giveaway! I don't watch sports, but I don't mind reading about them :)

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  11. Love MMA stories...can't wait to read this!

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  12. I've never seen a UFC fight, so I'm interested in reading about it! The fighters look so ripped, so I'm not surprised they have to train so hard.

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    1. You should watch one! Maybe start off small. Have you watched Here Comes the Boom? Kevin James is a huge UFC fan and he's also a comedian so it a lighter side to the UFC. Great movies!

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  13. I've never really been into cage fighting and that kind of stuff, but this book sounds great! Thanks for sharing about your research and the book!

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    1. You're welcome, Casey! Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Extreme Love sounds like a good book. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  15. How did you get started watching MMA fights?

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    1. I was invited to an UFC party by a couple of friends. I had no idea what UFC was at the time, but I knew the people and knew drinking would be involved, and I love a party. LOL. Honestly, I was horrified the first few fights I watched and then GSP started toward the cage and I've been hooked ever since :) That was seven years ago

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  16. I applaud your attention to detail that called for you to perfom such in depth research and I applaud you that you use your pink gloves. Thanks for the post. lisagk(at)yahoo

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  17. I can't wait to read Extreme Love!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

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    1. You're welcome, Natasha! Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. I don't know anything about the UFC. Willing to learn.

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    1. There's definitely much more to it than just two dudes getting in a cage and fighting it out. Lots of training! Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. wonderful posts, it sounds like the author did a lot of research in order to make the book more real and powerful <3 love the premise!

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  20. I always like to know how much say an author has over their cover. Abby, did you get to pick that model? ; )
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Nope, lol. We fill out a cover art form and the cover art department takes cares of the rest. They did an awesome job, didn't they!

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  21. I love UFC and I cannot wait to read this! Thanks for the chance to win

    Jolene A

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    1. Another UFC fan! YAY! Thanks for stopping by Jolene!

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  22. Sounds like a great story! How did you get introduced to UFC?

    Thanks,
    Leanne

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    1. I had a couple of friends invite me to a UFC party some seven years ago. I didn't instantly fall in love with the sport. I instantly feel in love with Georges St Pierre, lol. The rest came later.

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  23. I am not really familiar with MMA and the terms and what they would even mean so having the fight from the point of view of someone besides the fighter would work better for me.

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    1. Yep, that is exactly why I did that. Thanks for stopping by Maureen!

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