Spotlight, Excerpt, Teasers, Author Interview, Dream Cast, Playlist & Giveaway : Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy (CR)

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Book Blurb

Title: Fighting Redemption
Author: Kate McCarthy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 2, 2013

Ryan Kendall is broken. He understands pain. He knows the hand of violence and the ache of loss. He knows what it means to fail those who need you. Being broken doesn’t stop him wanting the one thing he can’t have; Finlay Tanner. Her smile is sweet and her future bright. She’s the girl he grew up with, the girl he loves, the girl he protects from the world, and from himself.

At nineteen, Ryan leaves to join the Australian Army. After years of training he becomes an elite SAS soldier and deploys to the Afghanistan war. His patrol undertakes the most dangerous missions a soldier can face. But no matter how far he runs, or how hard he fights, his need for Finlay won’t let go.

Returning home after six years, one look is all it takes to know he can’t live without her. But sometimes love isn’t enough to heal what hurts. Sometimes people like him can’t be fixed, and sometimes people like Finlay deserve more than what’s left.

This is a story about war and the cost of sacrifice. Where bonds are formed, and friendships found. Where those who are strong, fall hard. Where love is let go, heartache is born, and heroes are made. Where one man learns that the hardest fight of all, is the fight to save himself.


Book Excerpt

Later that morning after their workout and shower, Jake fell asleep on the couch. Feeling at a loss with nothing but time on his hands, Ryan wandered down the hall towards Fin’s room. She was sitting at a little study nook in the corner, laptop open with one foot resting on her chair. She was wearing a tank top and a little pair of shorts. Leaning up against the doorframe, he couldn’t tear his eyes away from those long, delectable legs.

As though sensing his presence, she turned in her chair. He forced his eyes upwards, catching a sexy flush fill her cheeks at his blatant perusal.

“Morning, Ryan.” She took off her black framed reading glasses and tossed them on the desk.

“Morning, Fin,” he replied.

Against his better judgment, Ryan pushed away from the door and walked farther into the room. Fin hadn’t changed at all and neither had his desire for her. His heart kicked over when she met his eyes. He knew everything he was feeling right now was written all over him, but he couldn’t seem to shut it off.

Her eyelids fluttered closed and she whispered, “Why now?”

Ryan took a deep breath. “I don’t know,” he replied honestly.

He shouldn’t still be feeling this way after so many years. Why was he doing this to her, and to himself? It was better for everyone if he stayed away like he was supposed to.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come. I’ll go stay at the barracks.” He turned to leave.

“Ryan!” she called out. Scrambling out of the chair, she grabbed his arm as he was halfway out the door.

“Fin,” he warned, looking down at her hand pointedly.

She took a step closer and he breathed her in, her scent like jasmine on a hot summer’s day. He was surprised when he looked into her eyes and saw anger burning hotly in their depths.

“Six years, Ryan. Do you know how hurt I was, each day passing by and getting nothing—not even a note or an email? I didn’t just lose you. I lost my brother too. Both of you left me, and I was okay with that. I understood that this was what you needed to do, so I moved on. I built a life that doesn’t include you. That was what I had to do.” She paused and raised a shaky hand to cup his cheek. “I’d have given you my entire heart if you’d only asked, but it’s not yours now. It’s not yours.”

Ryan closed his eyes, agony for losing what was never his rose in his chest until he felt strangled by it. He placed his hand over hers, holding it there until she tugged it away.

“You’re right,” Fin told him. “You should stay on the barracks … but I don’t want you to. Damn you, Ryan,” she whispered fiercely. “I don’t want you to.”

Ryan used his bulk to crowd her against the wall until there was no room for her to move. Leaning one hand against the wall, he grabbed her hip with the other. Her breathing rose rapidly and he leaned in, ducking his head until their mouths hovered a mere breath apart.

“Why can’t I force myself to leave?” He rested his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. “I hurt too. For six years I fought every day not to think of you, and I lost, because every day you were all I could see. You were the best thing in my life—so sweet and innocent, and so goddamn tempting.” His hand strayed from her hip and slid down to grip her ass. He swallowed the groan. “I stayed away so you could move on.”


Dream Cast

Book Playlist

Song list:


Hi Kate, 

Thank you so much for sitting down with Toot's for an interview. If you don't mind, I have some questions for you about your new book Fighting Redemption and your process for our budding authors as well as fans.

So first off, Fighting Redemption Questions.......

In your own words, what is Fighting Redemption about?

It’s really about growing up, falling in love and learning how live through a war when you’re a soldier, or the person left behind.

How did you come up with the title of the book?

It probably wasn’t until two-thirds through the book that I had this title. It was a tough one, but this is all about Ryan’s need for redemption and his fight against it.

Is Fighting Redemption a standalone book or will it be part of a series?

It’s a standalone. A lot of readers are asking for Kyle’s story and at this stage I’ll say it’s not on my schedule, but I never rule anything out.

What was your favorite scene to write for either your hero or heroine in Fighting Redemption?

That’s a tough one. I have two. The first was Ryan and Fin under the stars. To me it was beautiful. It was their first step together in the recovery process. The second was Ryan and Jake on the beach. I won’t go into that, I don’t want to give away spoilers!

What was the hardest scene to write?

I think those that have read the book will know this one.


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?

I’ve always had the stories in my head. Having the time, and the opportunity (which is so much greater now with the indie community) made it possible.

What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?

It’s not so much an inspiration but a need. The stories in my head are so vivid if I don’t get them down on paper (or laptop), then I’m sure my head will explode!

What are some of the elements in/of your writing process?

I have no elements. I just sit down, type Chapter One, and begin. I might come back several times and re-write or scrap hundreds of pages, but it all eventually pulls together in the end with the help of my team.

Are you a Plotter or a Panster?

Panster for sure!

Have you released anything under a different pen name, and if so, is there any difference between them?

No. You’ll find all my work under my own name.

What's next for you?

I have a new book coming called Merrick. I’m a bit tightlipped about this story, but it’s a complete backflip from Fighting Redemption, but also a story that to me is just as exciting.

Is there anything you’d like to add before we get into the personal questions?

Buy my books or else!!! (just kidding … sort of)

Personal questions......

Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but out of all your amazing characters in this book, who is your favorite character and why?

Travis Valentine in Give Me Strength. Hands down my favourite. 
He wasn’t perfect, but he was so.damn.perfect for my heroine in the story that even I couldn’t believe it. He pushed all my buttons in that story. I miss him! But his book is part of a series so I get to revisit his character often and that keeps me sane hahah ;)

What actor/entertainer do you envision playing your fav in a movie or TV adaption?

Chris Hemsworth ß He’s my answer to everything. In fact, all the questions from now on I’ll just answer “Chris Hemsworth” okay?

With the holidays approaching, if your main characters had to exchange gifts, what would they be and why?

Chris Hemsworth…

Just kidding… Fin would definitely book a weekend away somewhere remote for the both of them. Ryan has a playful side. I think he would give Finlay (a science geek) something like a periodic table shower curtain for a laugh and back it up with a beautiful necklace with a diamond star pendant.

If the book had to have a theme song, what would it be?

That’s a toughie. I have a playlist on Spotify and each and every song on there fits the story in some way, but if I had to choose, probably The Scientist by Coldplay.

Lastly, let's steal an idea from the magazines.....What 5 things do fans not know about you and 5 they don't know about the book?


1) I’m really boring.

2) I love Chris Hemsworth (in case you didn’t get that).

3) I can’t write without music. Firstly because it drowns out my kids screaming at me or each other, and secondly because it helps me create the mood and emotion I’m aiming for in each particular scene.

4) I’m a qualified accountant (see point 1).

5) I had absolutely no intention of publishing my stories until 2012 when I finished up work to focus more on my children. I’m so glad I did. I’ve made so many wonderful new friends and met some amazing bloggers.


1) With all my books, each of my female characters has to have a quirky pet. It wasn’t intentional on my part, it just turned out that way.

2) I scrapped the first 150 pages of the book and started again.

3) I’ve never been to Western Australia where the book is based. Google maps was my friend writing this.

4) Research actually took up half the time spent putting this book together (the war, soldier training, Afghanistan life, life on base, astronomy, you name it, I looked it up!). I really picked doozy careers for these characters on my part – the research was an uphill battle (especially because Australian SAS are notoriously private!).

5) It took me two months to get the book blurb right. I was ready to throw my computer! 

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking time to answer some questions. Congratulations on the new book and I can't wait for everyone to read it!

Thank you! xo

Author Info

Kate McCarthy grew up in a small town outside of Port Macquarie, Australia. Raised in a house just a short walk to the beach, Kate enjoyed the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere and friendships that come from being raised in a friendly, small town area.
She now resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works as an accountant, along with a sideline wedding cake business and her writing.
She is married with two children, has two dogs and house in the suburbs, and a pile of friends and family dotted all over the country that help keep her sane.
When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, crunching numbers, piping buttercream and writing books, you can find her curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new books and re-reading old favourites. Her favourite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward in which she longs to eventually join the brotherhood and change her name to Phierce Mutha.

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