Thursday, 24 July 2014

Sons of Anarchy - my new TV obsession...?

I'm in love with a new TV show! Yes, this time last year I was binge-watching The Sopranos, followed by Breaking Bad, and when both of those ended I was nothing short of distraught. I still only have to hear the Breaking Bad theme tune and I remember how utterly lost I felt after watching the final episode. I could have sat in a corner and cried, I missed Walter and Jesse so much. And whilst I'm aware that, yes, I might need some sort of therapy, I slowly got over it. Kind of. In a way. I threw myself into Justified (damn you Timothy Olyphant for looking so bloody HOT in that Stetson!), and I fell in love with that show, too. Just not to the extent that I fell in love with The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. The characters in those shows became such a huge part of my life (am I sounding sad here? I haven't had a holiday in over five years so I may need to get out of the house more...) that they left this gaping hole when they disappeared from my TV screen. And because we watched both those series' in just a matter of weeks - literally binge-watching them episodes at a time - I think the loss was felt more because we'd only had them for such a short period.


And now it's happening again. Because I have a new TV love affair that's just ridden into my life - Sons of Anarchy. I'd heard about this show, heard people raving about it, how they'd become addicted to it, and because it was about a biker gang I knew I had to watch it at some point. And that point has arrived. Just a week or so ago we began season one. Now, just days later, we're almost done with season three. And I'm addicted. Really, really addicted. I mean, not just "oh, I can't miss an episode of this" addicted. No, I'm 100% "I HAVE TO WATCH EPISODES ONE AFTER THE OTHER UNTIL I REALLY DO HAVE TO GET SOME SLEEP!" addicted. In fact, the Commonwealth Games couldn't have come at a better time because now that there really is nothing on the TV in the evenings unless you're into sporting action (it isn't football, so I'm not interested), boring crap on BBC Four or Big Brother (that really should have died a death by now), it means we can do nothing but watch Sons of Anarchy until we have to force ourselves to turn off the TV and go to bed! 

Maybe it's because it's about bikers (I have a thing for tattooed men, beards, bikes and loud rock music), or maybe it's because it's just great drama, I don't know, I just know that I've fallen in love with the characters, and I know that when this upcoming final season is over, it's going to hurt almost (almost!) as much as that feeling of emptiness I felt when Breaking Bad ended. And that stung!

Opie and Tig
I have favourite characters, of course. And funnily enough, one of them isn't Jax, although Charlie Hunnam plays a great part. No, it's my man Opie who's a real favourite with that beard and the long hair, and that almost lost expression that's sometimes evident with him. Makes him seem almost vulnerable at times. I love Tig - he's weird, left-of-centre, and I like that. And I really like Katey Sagal's character, Gemma Teller. That strong, feisty matriarchal figure who's not to be messed with. And Bobby - he's almost like the dad of the gang, always there to make sure everything's okay, that everyone's doing alright. Because, when all is said and done, SAMCRO is a family. 

But, in reality, there isn't really one of them I don't like. I've welcomed these "bad boys" into my living room on a nightly basis now, and I look forward to those few hours every evening when I can sit down and join them do whatever it is they have to do to survive. And so far I'm loving every loud, tyre screeching, gun shooting second of it. Yes, it can get quite violent, but it also has that slightly lighter edge to it at times, bringing in a touch of humour now and again just to balance it out. It's everything I look for in a great TV show - characters I love, characters I care about, and stories that actually grab your attention. I am going to be so lost when this ends... so lost...

Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller
But, I'm sure some of you out there will remember that when I first started watching Justified at the back end of last year, I got so hooked that it sparked off a writing frenzy, resulting in me finishing my novel Unbreakable in just six weeks - a book inspired heavily by the characters of Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder. So, could my new-found Sons of Anarchy obsession mean that there's a biker gang romance on the way? Watch this space... I know one thing for sure, when I'm in my 50s (and I'm not that far off!) I want to be dressing like Gemma Teller... ;-)

Gemma Teller
Oh, and one interesting fact to share before I go and get thinking about this biker gang romance... Charlie Hunnam was actually born right here, in the UK, in my neck of the woods - Newcastle-upon-Tyne! He's actually a Geordie by birth! I totally love that fact...

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

New release! 'High Heels and Bicycle Wheels' by Jane Linfoot!


Today I am so pleased to have the fabulous Jane Linfoot here on my blog to talk about her brand new release High Heels & Bicycle Wheels, and the inspiration behind it... I'll let the lady herself take it from here...



Jane Linfoot - Bio


I’m Jane Linfoot, and I write fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines and a bit of an edge.


I live in a mountain kingdom in Derbyshire, England, where my family and pets are kind enough to ignore the domestic chaos – happily, we’re in walking distance of a supermarket. For me, writing romance is cool because I get to wear pretty shoes instead of wellies. I love hearts, flowers, happy endings, all things vintage, most things french. When I’m not on facebook, and can’t find an excuse for shopping, I’ll be walking, or gardening. On days when I want to be really scared, I ride a tandem.



Author Links

Author Page Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JaneLinfoot2

Personal Page Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jane.linfoot.1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/janelinfoot  @janelinfoot



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High Heels & Bicycle Wheels - Blurb


Meet Bryony: She's a fun-loving, very single TV production assistant whose idea of sport is the Jimmy Choo sales scrum


Meet Jackson: Cycling's bad boy superstar. Injured and out of racing this summer, without his training he's looking for another distraction.

Bryony's facing a triple whammy – her last single friend just named the day, her mother's offering to have her eggs frozen, and the guy she's loved from afar, forever, just got hitched. So she's more than happy to accept the offer of a totally out of character but seriously steamy one night of no-strings fun. Especially when the guy in question is so attractive he even looks good in Lycra!

Jackson's on the look out for a new career but if the opportunity to work on TV means a fortnight with the most uptight woman in the world, he'd rather not bother. He never goes in for seconds – and who in their right mind would head off in a camper van with a woman who irons her knickers?

Add in a tandem (yes, a tandem) and fast forward to double trouble for a summer neither of them will ever forget!



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The inspiration behind High Heels & Bicycle Wheels...


When you’re a writer, inspiration pops up everywhere and the exciting things is, you never know when you’re going to find it.

Bryony, the heroine of High Heels & Bicycle Wheels marched onto the page fully formed in The Right Side Of Mr Wrong, and she refused to go away until I’d given her a stand alone story of her own...

Bryony works in TV, and strange as it sounds, when I was developing her story, she was very decided about what she wanted. We both thought a move onto a different different TV programme would be a good idea, to take this book to different places from the previous one, which centred around a stately home. And then one day when I was out at a cycling race in Lincoln, I saw a TV crew running around the town, with a blonde presenter, in high heeled trainers, interviewing the riders. Kerching! I knew instantly that Bryony was going to be working on a sports programme, and interviewing a cyclist. I do admit to being inspired by a set of pictures of David Ghandy wearing very little at this point. Enter Jackson Gale...

At the time, my partner and I had just begun to ride a tandem, and I had a sudden vision of  a very unsporty, yet very headstrong, TV presenter, Bryony, being thrown onto a tandem with hot pro-cyclist hero Jackson...who was also very determined. The tandem is an iconic symbol of coupledom, but they’re also quite hard to ride. Having my own hair raising experiences to draw on, I knew that sending the pair of them off on a short tandem ride would offer a spectacular and sparking start to what had to be a stormy relationship, given the strength of both these main characters.


 As for the rest of the story, again it was important to push Bryony and Jackson together, to make the most of the clashing of wills. Years ago I had a camper van, and still drool over them at VW shows. Given that I wanted this to be a book with a kind of all-summer-long feel, I decided a road trip in a VW camper van trip along the south coast taking in idyllic Devon and Cornwall, might be just what was needed, to fan the smouldering chemistry between Bryony and Jackson into a fire.

 

  
So for High Heels & Bicycle Wheels think beaches, camper vans, balmy evenings, and even hotter clinches...I hope it’s a perfect read for summer. 








Buy Links:-









HarperImpulse (all buy links)  http://bit.ly/1lcnNUu


(The buy links aren’t all there yet, but when they are, this is where you can find them)



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Jane, thank you so much for stopping by today, and thank you for such a fantastic post! Wishing you loads of success with High Heels & Bicycle Wheels!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

My BBC Tees radio interview - A chance to listen again.

As most of you may already know, I was a guest on BBC Tees yesterday, talking to the fabulous John Caine about my writing career so far, and my sexy soccer series of books - Striker, Extra Time and Final Score. It was a fabulous experience, a great afternoon, and I really hope it won't be the last time I get to do something like that.

Anyway, in case you missed the interview, my fantastic husband has made a "video" of it and uploaded the hour-long interview onto YouTube, so, if you didn't hear it, and you'd like to, now you can! 



And don't forget, the super-sexy Striker Series is available to download right now! This summer, it's time to play dirty...

Monday, 14 July 2014

Brazil 2014 - My Five World Cup Highlights

So, Brazil 2014 is over, and I'm just a little bit sad about that. So sad, in fact, that I can't bring myself to take down the World Cup wall chart from the back of the living room door just yet.



However, to cheer myself up, I thought I'd re-live some of my highlights from a truly brilliant World Cup. And even if England didn't really leave me with any sparkling memories, there were plenty of others who did. Here are my Top 5 things that made Brazil 2014 worth watching...



1 - Glenn Hoddle's hair

This is a man who has, quite frankly, said some rather bizarre and even slightly offensive things in his time, but during this World Cup he's been a constant source of entertainment for me. Especially his hair. It seemed to take on a life all of its own once he set foot on Brazilian soil, and it never did make friends with the south American humidity. It was even worse if a slight breeze happened to be joining in the party...



2 - Discovering Mats Hummels


Come on, I'm an author who's in the process of releasing a super-sexy trilogy of books all about a hot footballer, so it stands to reason such things would have been on my mind during this tournament. And this rather attractive German central defender has been on my mind more than most... he still is...






3 - The ITV pundit panel

I know that BBC trounced ITV in the World Cup Final ratings, but for me I was quite willing to suffer the ad breaks just to keep watching Adrian Chiles and co., because as far as personality was concerned they had it in spades over the slightly more stuffy BBC panel. I mean, for their World Cup Final coverage Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Rio Ferdinand all had suits on (why???), whilst the ITV gang were back out on Copacabana Beach in their shorts and shades sitting at those trestle tables with the beautiful view of the sea behind them! And whilst those conditions could only play yet more havoc with Glenn Hoddle's already out-of-control hair, it's been far more entertaining these past few weeks to watch the likes of Ian Wright getting over-excited, or worrying whether Gordon Strachan had enough sunblock on than the staid and somewhat boring atmosphere over in the BBC studio. ITV's coverage made me smile. The only thing remotely amusing about the BBC team was Rio Ferdinand's suit last night...



4 - Germany's 7 -1 thrashing of Brazil

Cruel, I know, because I did start to feel slightly sorry for Brazil after the 5th one went in, but it was undoubtedly one of the most entertaining - if you can call it that - game of the tournament for me. And a truly incredible display from a German team that were just unstoppable...



5 - Overdosing on football

Germany - worthy winners of the 2014 World Cup
Of course, after just over a month of almost non-stop football, it stands to reason that fans of the game are going to feel more than a few withdrawal symptoms kicking in now it's all over. But for the past few weeks it's been a joy to have so much fabulous football on my TV screen. This World Cup has been the best since Italia '90 in my opinion, giving us some amazing matches, some heart-stopping surprises, and a final that really did see the best team win, in the end. I've loved it. And I think Brazil should be extremely proud of themselves for putting on an incredible show. Thank you. It was a whole heap of fun, and I really am sad that it's all over. Time to start the countdown to Euro 2016... 



And don't forget, my sexy Striker Series of books are being released this summer, with a lot more action of the off-pitch variety! Perfect escapism, but don't let your granny read them!! ;-)


Books 1 and 2 - Striker and Extra Time - are available to download now, with Final Score, the last book in the trilogy, due for release in August. 






Thursday, 10 July 2014

It's (Re) Launch Day for 'Extra Time' - Book 2 in the Striker Series!

This summer, they're still playing dirty... 




The game kicked off five weeks ago with the release of Striker, book #1 in the really rather raunchy Striker Series, and now it's time for kick-off to resume with the launch of book #2 - Extra Time...

Things have moved on for young, super-talented but sometimes slightly cocky professional footballer Ryan Fisher, sexy sports reporter Amber Sullivan, and Ryan's manager, enigmatic, drop-dead-handsome American born ex-player Jim Allen. But is everything as settled as it seems? Is everyone really dealing with the events of the past few months? Or are some finding it harder to cope than others? And what happens when the game suddenly changes, and those rules start being broken all over again...
 
Extra Time - the game continues, but just who is winning...



Extra Time is published through HarperImpulse and is available to download NOW! 




The last book in the series - Final Score - is due for release in August.
 

Monday, 7 July 2014

The Striker Series is back in the news!

That actually makes it sound a bit more important than it really is, but a little article about me and my sexy Striker Series of books did make it into one of the biggest local (north east) Sunday newspapers yesterday - The Sunday Sun - and I just thought I'd share it here on my blog, because I am just a little bit proud of myself. If you'd have told me this time last year that next summer I'd be in the papers and about to go on the radio to promote these sexy soccer romances of mine I'd have said "no chance"! Because I'm SO shy when it comes to this kind of thing. But I'm learning to push that aside now, and I'm actually starting to enjoy it!


Anyway, my books have made the local papers, next stop - BBC Tees next Wednesday! Am I nervous about that? You bet I am! But if there's one thing I love talking about, it's my books. So I'm both nervous and excited. It'll be another new experience for me, but one I'm determined to make the most of...



Striker - book 1 in the Striker Series - is already available to download from the following online stores:


Paperback version will be available from August 14th and can be pre-ordered HERE

Extra Time, book #2 in the trilogy, is released on July 10th.  

Final Score is due for release in August.




 

 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Football shorts - does length really matter?


Yes, actually, it does. Because I'm old enough to remember a time when you could actually see a footballers' legs. Ah, happy days...  

Take Gary Lineker back in Italia '90, although, personally, I had a bigger crush on Bryan Robson at the time and would quite happily have taken him anywhere... sorry, where was I? Oh yes, Italia '90, and Gary Lineker's shorts. Well, footballers' shorts in general, to be fair. I just happen to have a picture of Gary Lineker handy...

But look. What do you see? Leg. And quite a bit of it. Back then shorts actually were short! And yes, I know that's very shallow of me, but come on. I'm only human! I do actually love football as a sport, but something nice to look at into the bargain is never a bad thing, is it? And back then, if a match got a tiny bit boring (a bit like Argentina vs. Switzerland in this current World Cup...) there was, at least, a bit of a view to take the edge off. 

But now -  well, now that view has cruelly been taken away to be replaced by shorts that skim the knee! What's that all about? Who thought that would be a good idea? If FIFA President Sepp Blatter has got the (sexist) cheek to say that all female footballers should play in tight shorts (I kid you not) then let's return that sexism and demand all the men play in shorts maybe not that tight - that isn't always a good look. But they should at least be, well, short!

Because this is what we're getting now, as displayed by the rather-underdressed-in-other-departments Mats Hummels of Germany. Shorts that just about skim the knee. Where's the fun in that? And, at the risk of sounding just as sexist as the aforementioned Mr. Blatter (the same bloke who recently touted the idea of an interplanetary World Cup. Once again, I kid you not... and he wants to stand for a 5th term???), yes, the view in that particular pic I've chosen certainly has something to draw the eyes away from the stupidly long shorts, but I think I've made my point. Somewhere. I think... bring back short shorts!! Not sure I'm going to be called up to speak at any debating society any time soon...

Oh, and before I go, can I just mention something else that really does my head in on the football pitch? Apart from referees that blow their bloody whistles every 5 minutes... and this is something I first saw John Terry do, so I'm blaming him for this - players who pull their socks up over their knees! Stop it! It's what girls do, and it looks silly. We're getting precious little leg as it is without hiding anymore... Just saying...

Anyway, if you're in the mood for hot footballers who are quite happy to divulge themselves of all their kit at quite regular intervals and indulge in the kind of ball control that'll never make it onto the Match of the Day highlights, why not check out my sexy soccer trilogy - the Striker Series. Book #1, Striker, is out now and is available to download from the online stores below. 

Paperback version will be available from August 14th and can be pre-ordered HERE.


Ryan Fisher - my fictional footballer from the 'Striker Series'. He's a bit of a bad boy... have you met him yet...?

Extra Time, book #2 in the trilogy, is released on July 10th. Final Score is due for release in August.