Katrina Brooks is a gifted photographer and an excellent roller derby referee. When she’s wearing her stripes, she’s focused and professional—and she rarely misses a call. Problem is, Kat’s got her eye on a “Mouse” who has a knack for getting into trouble.

Dorothy Mauser (Dot) is a trash-picking junk artist with a big heart but a volatile temper. She’s also the most penalty-heavy skater in Crosscannon Roller Derby. Far from realizing our ref has a thing for her, Dot thinks Kat has it in for her.

As Kat prepares her work for display at Crosscannon Pridefest, Dot gets a chance to see her true colors. A tentative collaboration between these two artists quickly reveals a mutual attraction. But with playoffs on the horizon, their newfound connection may not survive their on-the-track tension—or the deeper insecurities it brings to light. Can Kat and Mouse overcome the instincts driving them apart? Or, for them, is animosity just the nature of the game?

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“Beyond the love story, what is Kat & Mouse about?”

Without spoiling anything: K&M grapples with issues of artistic self-doubt, the search for personal identity, and the value of chosen family. It’s a story from the heart, written “for skaters (and all derby folk), by a skater.”

“Is K&M accessible to romance fans who are unfamiliar with derby?”

Occasional gameplay scenes may challenge non-derby folk to keep up, but they need not follow every nuance of the action in order to understand the effect on the story and characters. For the truly curious, however, a “New Recruit FAQ” (Derby-101) is provided in the appendix. Readers new to derby have enjoyed K&M both with and without the assistance of the FAQ.

“Does K&M sensationalize or eroticize roller derby?”

No and no. The text preserves the rules and nature of the sport, never compromising its authenticity for dramatic purposes. The story does contain a few graphic romance scenes between characters who happen to be involved in the sport. But derby itself and the concept of the derby skater are never portrayed as being erotic in nature.

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