Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Book Tour - REV GIRL by Leigh Hutton (Event + Excerpt)

 REV GIRL is out now available on Amazon or Leigh’s Website

Inspired by a true story
It's hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes...
Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?
Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.
She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super- competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.
Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?

REV Girl is a debut novel from the lovely author Leigh Hutton who writes about girls holding their own in extreme sports! I was lucky enough to be able to go to Leigh’s book launch event is Brisbane over the weekend as she is a local author and boy did I had a great time. To share some of what REV GIRL is about I took some photo’s of the event because it showed how great female motorbike rider are and was just plain fun. There is also an excerpt of the first chapter future down in this post for you to enjoy.

Kristie McKinnon doing a stunt show
Leigh’s Book Display

Leigh signing her book for a fan
So Leigh had an awesome set up right in the middle of Queen Street in Brisbane CBD with a few different things happening. She had a pretty table set up with her book for sale on and she was also signing them if people wanted. As well as the books Leigh had Aussie stars Jemma Wilson and Kristie McKinnon signing posters and doing a stunt show which as 100% awesome.

Now to get onto the excerpt of REV GIRL

REV GIRL, the story and its characters, are fictional. Although some celebrities’ names and real entities, places and events are mentioned, they are all used fictitiously. The book is, however, inspired by the author’s life and experiences and the growing trend of girls and women getting involved in dirt bike racing and action sports, a trend that is being spearheaded by incredible athletes including the REV GIRL Ambassadors, featured at www.leighhuttonbooks.com

Clover Kassedy winced and dropped her chin, using the visor of her helmet as a shield against the rocks and mud being flung off the tyre of the dirt bike in front. It hit her chest protector like gunfire, stung at her cheeks and clung to her goggles. But she kept the throttle pinned. Just a few more corners and she would have her. Lasha Moore was going to get knocked off her throne, and Clover was going to win this championship.
The narrow track was heading upwards, through a funnel of trees, and their autumn leaves streaked past in a haze of red, yellow and orange as Clover wound her way up and over a tall spine of the Rocky Mountains.
Her bike vibrated beneath her as she hunted Lasha down: up the short straight away, hairpin left, right sweeper, driving onwards, up towards the sky. Her body was shaking, but not from the cold. She was hot, burning up. Sweat dripped into her eyes, stinging, clouding her vision. Her muscles were wasted from the hours spent glued to the bike. All she could smell was exhaust and swamp mud from the low-lying bogs.
Then she hit snow. Watched as Lasha slid on a patch of white on the precipitous trail. Her bike bogged down, losing momentum, back end swapping from side to side, her feet flung off the pegs. She was paddling to get to the top.
I’ve gotta pass NOW, Clover thought. A grey haze was all that remained of the daylight. A wicked northerly wind cut through the trees, their shadows spread across the trail, camouflaging the nasties − tyre-cutting rocks, slippery logs, patches of black ice. Dangers she would normally be wary of. But not now. Not when she was desperate to get in front and secure the win.
Clover threw her weight forward, turning the bars to the left and holding firm to the side of the trail, as branches whipped at her arms and the bike’s swing arm clanged against the boulders on the edge of the tree line. Her front tyre pulled in line with the rear of Lasha’s bike, and suddenly Clover’s mind was gone; she could see the finish line, could see herself, finally taking her first ever title. Trumping one of the fastest junior girls in America. Proving everyone wrong: her pushy father, her absent mother, her best friend, Sera, who’d never been supportive of her racing. Proving to the kids at school, the bitchy girls who called her a ‘tomboy’ and a ‘try hard’ – not a real racer. She wanted to know it was possible. That she could be a winner.
Too bad her body didn’t follow.
Lasha’s back tyre flicked off a rock and into her motor.
Clover screamed out in shock. A loud CRACK sliced through the air as her bike hit the boulders on the edge of the track and stopped dead. The force shot her forward – her stomach crunched against the cross bar pad, punching the wind from her chest. Rocks ripped through her pants and jersey, scoring into the soft flesh of her legs. But her head hurt the most – her hair stuck in her plastic chest protector and it felt as though it was being ripped from the roots one strand at a time.
I’ve gotta get back up!
Winded, she gasped the cold air in and out, as if something was lodged in her throat. Her chest burned with the effort. Her bike was silent. She wriggled from under the weight of it, frantic now as precious seconds were being lost.
The stiff fabric of her gear rubbed against open wounds but she couldn’t stop, couldn’t let herself register the pain. Her arms shook with the effort of trying to stand the bike up, and keep it from sliding backwards down the slope.
She eyed her bike for damage. As soon as she spotted the front of the swing arm, she knew it was over.
Her chain was snapped in two, coiled up around the front sprocket. She had no idea how to fix a broken chain.
This was it. The chequered flag out of reach.
Panic rose within her, like a raging fire, when a voice came from above her, ‘Nice try, loser!’
Clover looked towards the darkening sky. Lasha had stopped at the summit and was glaring down at her. Her body started to tremble. ‘Bet that hurt!’ Lasha said, shaking her head and laughing. Her cold blue eyes burned from the top of the hill.
Clover’s fists balled with hatred, and she gritted her teeth at the perfection that was Lasha Moore. Her bike was hardly dirty, and her gear was spotless. Lasha had it all, including natural talent, and she knew it.
At one time, Clover had actually thought they were becoming friends, until their second season in juniors, when Lasha stopped talking to her. Not just that, she’d turned every girl in their class against her and made her life hell at every possible opportunity. Clover wished more than anything that she knew why.
Clover’s eyes weighed with tears as she looked down at her gloves; there were holes at the end of nearly every finger. She’d kill for Lasha’s gorgeous FOX gear; all the guys loved her. It fit Lasha’s curves, perfectly feminine, instead of Clover’s father’s old, baggy stuff he’d said would do fine.
‘Gotta fly, got a race to win!’ Lasha said, raising a hand in a ‘royal’ wave. ‘Save yourself the humiliation of another dud season next year, Kassedy. Seriously.’ Lasha spun around, tipped over the lip of the hill and dashed off for the finish line.
Clover started to cry, and punched the seat of the bike. Her heart was bursting, from the frustration of an entire season spent fighting for every point she could get. She was showing promise, and had scored solid podium results in a string of events from Texas to Wyoming. She was in second place behind Lasha and close enough to win the championship. Close enough to prove to her father that she was ready to tackle the Pro Ladies Class, and finally have a shot at sponsorship and making racing her career. After all, she was no good at school. Racing was her only shot.
And I’ve blown it!
Sobs were shaking her so hard, she fell backwards, into the boulders. It was either that, or flipping with her bike back down the mountain.
She let the bike rest against her throbbing thighs. Heard the final revs of Lasha’s engine, as she disappeared, to victory. Cold tears poured down her cheeks, the stain of disappointment on her skin, etched trails in the dirt.
The rest of her class rode by. A few girls called out, to make sure she was okay. She listened to the last bike, its sound disappearing into the fog and the forest.
It was over. And as if losing to Lasha wasn’t bad enough, as if bombing in her final year of juniors wasn’t enough humiliation, now she had the abuse at home, and at school, to look forward to. Her dad would roast her; he’d been into her all season about taking it seriously, riding smart, and how important it was to get sponsors – to help pay – and to win. Her mother would roll her eyes, and use this final failure as further evidence why, as she always said, ‘Clover can’t focus on racing and school, she can’t have both! She needs to grow up, get her marks up, and get a real job!’
Worst part was, this summer, she had been trying. She’d been racing, while all the other girls were hitting parties and meeting guys.
Now she had no chance of being accepted by the cool, older girls at school. Of the nastier ones easing up on her. At least if she was winning races, they would leave her alone. News always made its way back to Silvertown High, and if she was achieving, it was like she was a legitimate biker. Not some ‘try hard’. She imagined the crap she’d cop for losing their state title to Lasha. Not only was she the ‘Loser Canuck’ – she moved from Canada to Silvertown just before her freshman year in high school and Canuck was their term of endearment – she was also the loser who hadn’t been at ANY of the summer parties. The loser who didn’t even podium in racing.
Now she was stranded, twenty kilometres from the pits and any another human beings. It was freezing and nearly night. She hated the dark, or more accurately, was irrationally afraid of the nameless things that lurked there, deep in the woods.
The sweep riders would arrive soon to tow her bike back to where her father would be waiting. Her heart sank. I’m such a loser, Clover told herself with disgust. And now, I’m gonna pay for it.

The race officials at the finish line were all wearing looks of pity, except for one – Lasha’s big-bellied father, who smiled at her smugly. But Clover hated pity more.
Another sweep rider fixed her broken chain, and brought back her bike. As soon as she’d seen the medics for her cuts and scrapes, Clover hid in the truck until her dad had loaded the bike up, and they were finally free to leave.
On the drive home the cuts in her legs burned under the bandages fitted by the ambulance crew, but nothing hurt more than her pride. After making sure she was okay, her dad Ernie hadn’t said a word to her and she couldn’t bring herself to look him in the eye.
In that moment, as Clover stared out over the passing landscape, it was as if even the sun had given up on her. It was setting, flashing its final rays of brilliance in shades of bright yellow and red. None of its warmth found her face. Usually she found this drive back over the range, towards Silvertown, Idaho Springs and the city of Denver, beautiful, especially in autumn, or during deep winter’s crystallised white. Tall mountain peaks and deep, snaking valleys. And at this time of year, the browning fields, the dandelions long since seeded and blown away by the chilling winds.
Tonight, however, her beloved mountains served only as a reminder of her crash. Her failure. She’d have to wait until next season to race Lasha again. And it would never be the same. Next year, they’d be seniors. Clover was nearly seventeen years old. And Lasha would move straight to the Pro Ladies division. What would Clover do?
It was a question Ernie was obviously itching to ask her, ‘You’re really going to have to have a long think about what you can do in the off season to prove to your mother that you should be allowed to race next year,’ Ernie said, without turning his eyes from the interstate lit up by their yellow headlights. ‘This was your last chance to get a title, so I could approach a sponsor to help out with the increased costs of going into the pro class, but, now . . .’ He shut his mouth quickly, to avoid saying what he really felt. Clover bit her bottom lip. She kept her eyes on the sunset, now the deep red of blood.
‘Clover?’ Ernie’s voice was sharp. ‘Listening?’
How could I not?
‘Cut the attitude.’ Ernie sighed and raised a hand from the wheel to rub at his crinkled, brown eyes. His moustache was looking especially grey.
He took off his glasses and cleaned the lenses with the front of his T-shirt. ‘Promise me you’ll wash your bike when you get home from school tomorrow?’ Both hands returned to the wheel, and his knuckles went white from the force of his grip. ‘You really need to start pitching in with the maintenance.’
‘Will do,’ Clover lied. She didn’t even want to look at the thing. She wanted her bike to be the furthest thing from her mind. To feel like a normal teenager. She was sick to death of being pushed into racing, and longed for the days when she enjoyed it. She did love to ride, didn’t she?
‘It would be great if you cut the crap before we see your mother,’ Ernie said. ‘It won’t help. She’s looking to spend a lot of money on a new horse for your sister, so I’m sure she’s hoping you’ll decide not to go senior and focus your efforts on school work – not that we’ve spent even a fraction of what they do on bloody horses, but you know your mother.’
Clover tuned Ernie out. She turned her body fully towards her door and closed her eyes. To everything. She wanted to scream, ‘I don’t give a shit anymore!’ Enough trying to please her father. It didn’t work anyway. She wanted to start living. To feel like the other girls must feel – accepted and cool, for just being themselves – for once in her life.
At that moment, Clover made a decision that made her smile, and she was instantly relieved, and excited.
Party time.
As part of the tour Leigh is holding a giveaway on her Facebook page and if you have time check out the other blogs on the tour!


  1. Oooh, great post Katie! It looks like you had a fantastic day at the book launch! I can't wait to read this book. :)

    1. I was such a great day! I wish I’d been more persistent with learning to ride when I was young!

      I hope you like it when it gets to you!


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