Caitlin Crews on MMA Fighting and the Inspiration Behind "No More Sweet Surrender"

by Caitlin Crews, author of No More Sweet Surrender (Harlequin Presents, February 2013)

I’ve never been much of a sports fan.  I like hockey (players) (actually, I think what I really like is DB Sweeney in “The Cutting Edge”) and I can get worked up over a good Wimbledon match, but that’s about it.

But my husband is a little bit of a ninja.  I’m not just saying that because I like him.  The man has a couple of black belts, has done loads of martial arts his whole life, even wrote a book breaking down the mechanics of a fight scene (he draws a lot of them, as you can see from the picture), and introduced me to the wild world of Mixed Martial Arts Fighting.

Art by Jeff Johnson, used with permission.

I wasn’t too impressed with MMA fighting the first time I saw it.  I mean, sure.  The fighters were doing kind of badass things, but it all looked like anger issues and ’roid rage to me.

And then what to my untutored and judgmental eyes should appear but…  Randy Couture.

I found that I developed a sudden deep interest in MMA fighting.

Not only was Randy a badass who won fights, he was lovely to look at.  He was also smart and nice and funny in his interviews, not that I scoured the internet to read/watch any of them.

And I can tell you that he was also very lovely to meet—and by “meet” I mean “stand in a line at Comic Con with 9,000 other people and take a picture with him while trying not to hyperventilate.”

This is that picture:

Standing next to a man like Randy Couture was an eye-opening experience for me.  The power.  The calm, centered confidence.  The size of him—even the arm he held behind my back was intensely heavy with all of that muscle and capability.  I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that he could, if he wished, physically best every single person in about a ten mile radius.  It was a little bit like standing next to a live electrical current.  Everyone who spoke to the man—men, women, kids—came away a little giddy.  Did I mention all that power?

Obviously, I had to make him into a Presents hero.

NO MORE SWEET SURRENDER, my latest release, is the story of Ivan Korovin, an ex-MMA fighter turned Hollywood action star who wants to use his fame to start a children’s foundation.  But he has a thorn in his side—Professor Miranda Sweet, who spends a lot of time on a lot of television programs calling him a caveman, among other things.

She’s bad for his image—but when Ivan comes up with a plan to deal with both Miranda and his publicity problem in one fell swoop, he discovers that she might steal a little more from him than his reputation…

Giveaway: Caitlin has generously offered 3 copies of No More Sweet Surrender, print or digital, for a giveaway! To enter to win, just leave a comment telling us if your a fan of

MMA fighting or martial arts. Three winners will be randomly drawn on February 15. good luck!

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Comments ( 25 )
  1. Alexia Evans
    February 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Caitlin…I already won a couple of your books but I wanted to pop in and say I’ve enjoyed them immensely. Thank you again. Good luck to the next 3.

  2. Sharon Kendrick
    February 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    LOVE this photo of you both and really like the sound of NO MORE SWEET SURRENDER.
    Surrender is such a tantalising prospect, and Randy Couture is a great name…..

  3. Marlene Engel
    February 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I love watching boxing, but sometimes have a hard time watching MMA. I think it’s hard for me because my 21 yr old son does Brazilian Jujitsu and the thought of him in an actual match/fight terrifies me.

  4. Olga
    February 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    No, I am not a fan of MMA fighting or martial arts. I am a fan of ice hockey.

  5. Julie
    February 8, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I love watching MMA! I’m usually the only girl in the group crowded around the TV, unfortunately. :/ And I am so so jealous that you got to meet Randy Couture.

  6. Jennifer Lloyd
    February 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I am no fan of MM A but the men (and girls) in my house are definitely! As for martial arts, it did a world of good for my son when he was young for his confidence, self esteem and behavior. I think it also helped him with other athletics later on. I never could stand to watch him spar, though!

  7. bn100
    February 8, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I like to read about it.

  8. Kaelee
    February 8, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I can’t say that I’m a fan of MMA but the book sounds interesting. I have some great nephews who are taking some martial arts classes. One is quite serious about it so I’ll probably learn a lot more in the future.

  9. Kaelee
    February 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    PS. By the way I think Randy Couture looks like a hero to me.

  10. Caitlin Crews
    February 9, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Sharon–AND I wrote a huge chunk of this book on your wildly inspiring course in Tuscany!

  11. Caitlin Crews
    February 9, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Olga: I hear you. Hockey is awesome. My brother was a huge Rangers fan way back when, and I became one by default. I forgot how much I used to love it!

  12. Caitlin Crews
    February 9, 2013 at 1:35 am

    bn100–I do too. 🙂

  13. Caitlin Crews
    February 9, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Kaelee–Randy Couture is ABSOLUTELY a hero. It practically exudes from his pores, like a powerful scent.

    Did I mention: POWERFUL??

  14. Kimberly
    February 9, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Caitlin, I just have to say “Toe Pick.” I loved that movie and it is about all the sports I know too. This was a great interview, I know nothing about MMA, but I just picked up this book, because it sounded like a fun read!

  15. Janine
    February 9, 2013 at 7:15 am

    I think it’s an exciting sport. But, I can’t handle too much of it. Mostly, I just like looking at the guys.

  16. Laney4
    February 10, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I always enjoyed the Chuck Norris movies (and even Karate Kid) in my younger years. All those moves combined with a little lovin’ went/go a long way “in my book”, LOL!

  17. Jill
    February 10, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I didn’t think much of MMA, but i have an unhealthy “if it’s on I will watch it” mentality when comes to television. So, when my brother and his fiends turned on a fight I stayed…and by then end was yelling along with them. Now it appears I am “one of the guys” and have ended up having nachos and beer on fight night more than once.

    Also, props for the comic con photo. I had a similar experience meeting Kevin Sorbo.

  18. Denysé Bridger
    February 10, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I’ve enjoyed martial arts over the years, and this is a GREAT picture! I love the story of meeting this man, and the awe around him. I’m sure your new book is incredible and richer for the experience. Can’t wait to read it!!! Much success with the new title, Caitlin!!

  19. Melanie J
    February 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Honestly, I am not a huge fan of maritial arts or boxing. I think the moves are amazing in both, but I really don’t like watching them on tv or shows.

    Your book does soung great, though!

  20. Michelle Conder
    February 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    You made me giddy just reading your description of your meet! And I loved this book… sexy, sexy hero!

  21. Veronica
    February 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Honestly not really. But that is just because I don’t really like watching any sports on tv

  22. Runner10
    February 13, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I have not watched MMA, but it sounds intriguing.

  23. Amy
    February 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Hi all! The Giveaway is now closed and the three winners by random draw are:

    Jennifer Lloyd

    Must have been a lucky day for the letter J 🙂 Congratulations to the winners — please check your email for a message from me!
    ~Amy from Harlequin

  24. Janine
    February 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Thank you very much for selecting me as one of the winner! I can’t wait to read this book.

  25. Spotlight & Giveaway: No More Sweet Surrender by Caitlin Crews | Harlequin Junkie | Addicted to HEA :)
    February 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    […] I wrote about when I met MMA star Randy Couture and how that inspired me over at the I Heart Presents blog:… […]