Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Are you ready to meet The Brotherhood of Lone Riders...?


I can now officially reveal that Revolution - Book One in The Lone Riders Series - will be released on Monday October 6th. 




So, get ready to begin The Ride... it's gonna be a bumpy one...



Lexi Hart has come home, to Paradise, the small, northern Californian town she’d been forced to leave eight years ago. The Brotherhood of Lone Riders MC had seen to that – they’d driven her away; hounded her out. She’d broken their rules. They’d had no other choice.



But now Lexi is back. After spending the past eight years with her father in England, at the Lone Riders mother chapter where her father Charlie Hart has been President for over thirty years, Lexi now needs to face up to the things that had seen her driven out of Paradise all those years ago. She needs to face up to what happened while she was away; the mistakes, and the consequences. She needs to find answers to questions she can’t let go of. She needs to find her own truth because, for far too long, Lexi Hart had been living someone else’s.


Growing up within the whole Lone Riders lifestyle, she still finds it difficult, even after thirty-five years, to love the club she was born into; the club her grandfather had created. Getting her head around the way it works isn’t easy, even after all that time. And as for the men who live within its confines, Lexi’s relationship with them is even more complicated. Even more dangerous. With one man proving more dangerous than the others… and now she’s back in Paradise. Where that man is…

Can he help her find the truth she so desperately needs to find? Those answers she’s looking for? And when dark secrets from the past begin to be revealed, and dangerous games start being played, can the Lone Riders pull together to survive the storm that’s about to hit Paradise…?
 


Revolution - Book #1 in The Lone Riders Series - will be released Monday October 6th...


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A quick guide to some MC terms you might find useful before reading 'Revolution'...



Any of you out there familiar with Motorcycle Clubs? No? Thought not. I myself am not particularly familiar with them, which is a little bit odd, seeing as my next book - Revolution - is all about a Motorcycle Club. And I'm not gonna lie here. Most of my research for this book came from the internet, and many a happy evening binge-watching Sons of Anarchy. So, even though I'm sure there will be many a real-life MC out there who could, probably, pull me up on one or two things in this book, it's a work of fiction, and I've tried my level-best to get everything as right as it can be. 

However, if you're not in the least bit familiar with any aspect of Motorcycle Clubs - or MCs as I'm now going to call them - and you haven't watched even one episode of Sons of Anarchy, but you do want to read Revolution (and I hope you do), then you might find this post quite useful.

I have actually included the following glossary of terms in the front of the book, so it's always there for people to check out if they come across something they're not familiar with. But, I figured a little visual help might also be quite useful. So, as the only visual help I really have to hand is Sons of Anarchy related I thought, why not use Jax and his biker boys (although "boys" is pushing it a bit as far as some of them are concerned...) as a reference? And it gives me an excuse to post lots of nice pictures of Chibs, and Jax, and Tig, and Juice... not shallow, in the slightest...

Anyway, check this out. These are all terms I've used in Revolution, so you might just find it helps when you finally get to read the book...


Motorcycle Club Glossary of Terms


Chapel


The meeting room of the MC, usually housed within the clubhouse (explained later). Check out Jax and the rest of the Sons (above) all sat around the table in their chapel... 

Chapter  A motorcycle community which has been set up in a certain place.

Church   A scheduled club meeting - held in the chapel (see above), so, when anyone in Revolution mentions church, they're not off to sing hymns and praise the Lord - God, no! They're referring to a club meeting.

Clubhouse   Members’ hang-out.

 
This is the Sons of Anarchy clubhouse (above), within the club compound (mentioned lower down), so you get some kind of an idea as to what I mean when I mention clubhouse in Revolution

And as a little bit of extra visual help, here's a picture of Juice, Chibs and Tig at the bar inside the Sons of Anarchy clubhouse. Couldn't find a picture with a wider image of the clubhouse interior, but it kind of gives you some idea of what the clubhouse would look like inside, because quite a bit of the story in Revolution takes place in and around the Lone Riders' clubhouse and compound.
 
Colors    



The MC Backpatch, usually displayed on the back of the rider’s cut, just like the one pictured above.

Compound    


Real estate acquired by the MC. Usually where the clubhouse and/or businesses owned by the club are based. In this GIF of Chibs and Jax, they're sitting outside the clubhouse with the compound there in the background. Are you following this...?

Cut    


The vest/sleeveless jacket worn by riders, as shown here by these Sons of Anarchy - Happy, Chibs, Jax and Tig. When you say their names like that it makes them sound like a sinister version of the seven dwarves... anyway...



Crash Truck   A van or truck equipped with tools that follows the motorcycle club on runs to pick up any bikes that might break down. Can also carry club supplies, etc…

Gavel   Ceremonial hammer used by the club or chapter President. 


You can see Jax's gavel there in the picture above... and that wasn't meant to sound in any way filthy, but reading it back...

M/C   Motorcycle Club. 



Pretty self-explanatory this one, but it doesn't hurt to show those Sons again, out in their club compound...

Mama   A female that is the property of all club members, available to wash bikes, keep the clubhouse clean, and meet any other needs a club member may have.

Mother Chapter  The first established chapter of an MC. In Revolution the Mother Chapter is based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England, and is run by Lexi's father, Charlie. But in this first book of the Lone Riders Series the story is based around the northern Californian chapter.

Old Lady    


Definitely not a derogatory term, it means wife or steady girlfriend of a club member. She’s monogamous and has the respect of other women. There is usually one Queen; the old lady of a chapter’s President. In Sons of Anarchy the Queen was most definitely Gemma Teller (pictured). In Revolution the Queen is Lexi's mum, Angie.




Patched-in   When a new member is approved for full membership of the club.

Pillion Pad   A bike's passenger seat.

President   Elected leader of a chapter.

Prospect   Someone who wants to be a member of the club, and who rides with them for a probationary period. They may go on runs, but they’re not allowed to attend church (club meetings), and they must do anything that any full patch member requires of them. A unanimous club vote must be cast by the rest of the members for a full initiation.

Ridin’ bitch  Riding as a passenger.

Rocker  



Part of the MC colors. Usually designates geographical location or territory of the club.

You can just about see on the back of Tig's cut (left) that his bottom rocker says California, because that's where that particular chapter/charter of Sons of Anarchy is based. Is this making any sense...?


Run   A club sanctioned outing/road trip, sometimes involving other chapters or clubs.

Sergeant-at-Arms   Person responsible for discipline within the chapter’s jurisdiction. I suppose you could call him the club's bouncer! He usually sits to the right of the President at the table during meetings.

Sit-down   A meeting amongst other motorcycle clubs.

Vice President   Elected second-in-command of a chapter. Responsible for any decision making in the absence of the President. Usually sits on the President’s left at the table during meetings. 

The VP in Revolution is a club member called Coby Walker, based (not very heavily at all, much...) on the character of Chibs (pictured right) in Sons of Anarchy, who just happens to be their VP, although, he's also been their Sergeant-at-Arms, too, at one point. And this doesn't really need any pictorial help at all, it's just another excuse for me to post a picture of Tommy Flanagan as Chibs. Because I like Chibs. A lot...


So there you have it. A quick guide to some MC terms, all of which pop up in Revolution at some point. So, think of this as a bit of a head start on getting to know what they all mean, because Revolution - book #1 in The Lone Riders Series - is due for release in just a matter of days now. Monday October 6th, to be exact. You ready to meet my very own biker boys...?

Monday, 29 September 2014

'Revolution' - My Biker Romance gets its official cover reveal!


I did actually reveal the cover for my next self-published book Revolution last Friday, but today sees its official cover reveal as I get ready to put this slightly dark, gritty biker romance (or MC Romance, to give the genre its proper description) out there. 


Are you ready to meet The Lone Riders? Then dust off your leathers, turn that music up loud, and get ready for the ride! Book One - Revolution - is due for release in just a week's time. And if you're completely in the dark about the feel of this new book of mine, because it is a little different to anything else I've written before (this is romance on a whole other level!), check out the trailer below for Sons of Anarchy... or, if you've got Netflix or BT Vision, go watch an episode - that'll give you more than an idea of just what to expect from this book...


Because it isn't just a romance, although that is what's at the heart of the story. It's also a story about the club. About the people involved with it. And as the series continues (Book 2 - Retribution - should be out sometime in early 2015) we'll get to know more about other members, their past history; the problems they face as they live their lives within the confines of The Brotherhood of Lone Riders.

I'm really excited about this new series of books. And I just hope you will be, too.

Sons of Anarchy - the show that inspired 'Revolution'

So, go watch a bit of Sons of Anarchy, get a feel for just what to expect from Revolution, and I promise you, it'll have you wanting to jump on a Harley and start your own ride of your life...

Revolution - The countdown begins...


Friday, 26 September 2014

Sons of Anarchy Season 7 Episode 3 - My View

*Contains Spoilers! Again, you have been warned!*

Didn't actually get around to doing a post looking back at episode 2, mainly because I've been up to my eyes in stress trying to write two books, edit another, and get that one ready for publication. But as far as I can remember episode 2 involved Chibs balancing precariously on the back of a truck whilst shooting some Chinese men (he did look rather hot when he was doing that, though... or was that just me...?), Jax walking around with that permanently angry expression plastered all over his face, and Juice breaking my heart - again. But I've kind of resigned myself to the fact that's the way this final season is going to pan out.

Anyway, episode 3. How's it going so far? Here's what I think...

* What the hell kind of movies are Redwoody Productions making???? Love the fact Lyla's now in control of all that, though. And love the way the Sons were all sat watching that first take, of whatever the hell that was supposed to be!! A nice, light way to start another heavy episode.

* Ratboy is fast becoming a favourite of mine. Love the fact we seem to have a little romance going on between him and Brooke, and I have a feeling that might just be significant in some way or another as the season progresses. 

Niko Nicotera as SAMCRO's newest member Ratboy

* Jax really does seem to have adopted a permanently angry expression. I mean, I'm not complaining, because I actually think he looks so much better when he's looking all mean and moody. But is he going to be this way for the entire season? Will he ever crack a smile? Will he ever have a reason to...?

* That exchange between Juice and Chibs in the diner - I love Chibs, I really do, even if I am still having to strain really hard to understand what he's saying, and I'm British! Glasgow's not even that far away from where I live! Anyway, ever since Opie was killed (still hurts to write that) and he was promoted to my favourite Son I have loved that guy. But telling Juice to, basically, go kill himself... my heart broke. Not helped by Juice's facial expressions, or the way Chibs was looking at him. Can't even begin to think how this is all going to end for Juice, but if it's Chibs who hurts him...

Juice & Chibs - these guys are breaking my heart...

* What's going to happen with Jury? Again, no idea how this one is going to pan out, but something's quite obviously going to blow back on the Sons for what happened. You could guess that by the look on Jury's face when he was on the phone to Bobby...

* Step away from the sheriff, Chibs!!!! And I'm not just saying that because I have a slight obsession with soft spot for Chibs. But, come on! She's a shameless flirt, I saw it. No idea what the woman's up to, but is our lovely Scotsman (except when he's telling Juice to shoot himself) really going to be sucked in by her? Is this the beginning of some kind of romantic relationship for Chibs? Or is there something more to it than that...? 

* Gemma can bake??? I spent the last five minutes of this episode explaining to my husband what a pineapple upside down cake was. Yes, even Sons of Anarchy is giving me grief as my diet continues. Mind you, that particular pineapple upside down cake wasn't one that was enjoyed by its recipient, let's put it that way. Only Gemma could use cake as a way of getting to someone who'd done her wrong. And after what Jax did to the bloke, not sure that cake'll ever get eaten now...


Anyway, Gemma's baking efforts aside, I know a lot of people are saying this final season is taking a bit of time to get going, but as I'm a ridiculously huge fan of this show I'm not going to moan that it feels a little slow. I'm not even sure that it does feel a little slow to me, because, surely, this season more than any other is going to need some kind of build-up before what I'm assuming will be one hell of a finale hits our screens (don't let us down here, Kurt). The foundations are being set, stories are building, and, quite frankly, we're getting a lot more Chibs than I bargained for so, as far as I'm concerned, it's all good. Not that I'm shallow or anything... 
  


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Romancing September Day 25 - It's all about 'Striker'...

Romancing September #RomancingSeptember – Day 25

 
It's been a privilege to be a part of the Romancing September Around the World Blog Tour this year, and as today is my day to step into the spotlight, I've re-posted the wonderful Rosie Amber's interview with me where I'm talking what makes the North East of England so great, and my HOT soccer romance 'Striker'. Read on to find out more...

Romance September 2014 cover (1)

Welcome to Day 25 of Romancing September Across The World Tour. Today our guest is Michelle Betham. Catch up with more from Michelle in a few hours with the second part of our tour when Stephanie chats to her.



1)      Where is your home town?
I was born in Wallsend, north east England. I’m a born and bred Geordie girl!

2)      How long have you been writing romance?
I’ve been a romance author for over five years now, but I started writing romance long before that! I just didn’t have the confidence to start writing seriously until I hit forty!

3)      What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?
I think that would have to be contemporary romance. That’s what I write, and it’s what I’ve always loved to read.

4)      Tell us briefly who Ryan Fisher is.
Ryan Fisher is a (fictitious) Premiership footballer from the north east of England – very famous, very talented, very sexy, but just a little bit cocky.

5)      What is Amber’s job?
Amber is a sports reporter for a local north east news programme.

6)      Where does Jim Allen come from?
Jim Allen is originally from Washington DC. He moved to the UK in his early twenties to pursue his football career.

7)      Will we be needing a cold shower after reading this?
Yes, probably! It does get a little hot in parts!

8)      Tell us 5 great things about Newcastle.
 Five great things about Newcastle? That’s easy!

1 – The people. We’re very friendly here in the north east!

2 – The city centre. Whether you choose to venture into Grainger Town – the historic heart of Newcastle upon Tyne which includes the Grainger Market, Theatre Royal, Grey Street, Grainger Street and Clayton Street – or Eldon Square, the large, modern shopping mall, there’s something for everybody, with shops ranging from the discount to the designer, not to mention a wide range of bars, restaurants and pubs to choose from. And I know I might be slightly biased here, but out of all the cities I’ve visited in my time, Newcastle will always be a favourite of mine. I love the place!

3 – The Quayside. With everything from the Baltic Gallery to the cafes and bars down by the river, it’s a beautiful place to take a walk or enjoy some of the culture Newcastle has to offer, all within sight of that famous landmark, the Tyne Bridge.

4 – It’s close to some of the most gorgeous countryside and coastline, whether you go further north into Northumberland, or a little further south towards Sunderland and Durham. I’m not sure everyone realises just how beautiful a part of the country north east England really is.

5 – It gave us Ant and Dec and Charlie Hunnam. And I love Ant and Dec, and Charlie Hunnam!

9)      Tell us what you are working on at the moment.
I’m working on a few projects at the moment including a rock star romance, a possible summer book for next year, and a motorcycle club romance series.
Michelle Betham

10)   Where can readers find out more about you?
They can find out more about me over on my blog, and they can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook. I’m on there a lot!

Blog – http://michellebethamwriter.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichelleBetham

Twitter – https://twitter.com/michellebetham @michellebetham
 
Social Media links:-

Blog
Facebook Author Page
Twitter @michellebetham
‘Striker’ – Buy Links:-
 
Amazon UK – amzn.to/1ldOSYZ
 
 
Kobo – bit.ly/1mUbXiN
 
Barnes and Noble – bit.ly/WJs8dU
 
Google Play – bit.ly/1rX9JVc
 
Find out more about Michelle from Stephanie Hurts blog and all our Romance writers http://stephanie-hurt.com/

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Novel Number 11 Title Reveal and Sneaky Peek....

Inspired by Sons of Anarchy, created from the depths of my over-active imagination, this new book of mine is one that kind of crept up on me, because I really had no intention of releasing another novel this year. But, when inspiration hits, and I go off on one of my writing frenzies, well... it looks like I will be publishing my 5th book of 2014 after all! Yep. This will be my 5th release this year, after Unbreakable back in March, and the three books in the Striker Series over the summer. But this one - this new one is very different. It's my first foray into the world of MC Romance for starters, and although it might well be considered pretty tame as far as MC Romances go, it's still a very dark, tough, edgy romance. It contains quite adult themes; the sex is hard and sometimes quite graphic, because the men in this book are so far away from flowers and romance... they have their own way of showing their feelings. So this is very much a book for grown-ups. There's nothing pretty about this story at all. But I loved every single second of writing it. And the main female character of Lexi Hart, well, she's probably the closest I've ever come to creating my own alter ego! Because I've been a frustrated wannabe biker chick for most of my life, I'm making no secret about that. And as for the clean-cut, Christian Grey-type business man that a lot of women fantasise about... not for me, I'm afraid. Give me an unshaven, tattooed, rough-edged biker on a Harley with a cigarette hanging out the corner of his mouth any day. I find that so incredibly sexy, you have no idea... So creating this bunch of guys within my own fictional MC, well, it's been one hell of a ride! These guys - these are my idea of the ideal man!


Sons of Anarchy - the show that inspired 'Revolution'

The Brotherhood of Lone Riders is my fictional Motorcycle Club, and Revolution will be the first book in The Lone Riders series. Behind a story of truth and lies, betrayal and dangerous revenge, there's also a story of love and hope, but Lexi's life is no ordinary one. Born into and brought up within the club her grandfather created, she's been eight years away from the northern Californian chapter she was a part of for over twelve years, since moving to the US with her mum and brother at the age of fourteen. The chapter ran by her stepfather. She didn't want to leave. She was forced to. Given no other choice but to walk away and return to the north east of England, back to the Mother Chapter, of which her father is President. But just as she was given no other choice but to leave all those years ago, she now has no other choice but to return. Because what happened in the past caused consequences she, and others within the club, now have to face...


Excerpt from Revolution



Lexi sat on the edge of the low wall, pulling at the top of her knee-high biker boots, a nervous reaction she hadn’t even been aware she’d adopted. So she started chewing on a nail instead, hating the fact she felt like a frightened teenager instead of the thirty-five year old woman she was. She should have had a handle on all of this by now, but if that was the case, why had she waited until after dark to come here? Why wasn’t she doing this in broad daylight, like she’d promised herself she would? Because she wasn’t doing anything tonight, that’s why. She was here only to observe, to see what she needed to see. The rest she had yet to work out.

Staring out ahead, she watched as the lights from the garage and the neighbouring office were switched off, the compound now lit up only by strings of white bulbs hanging from the canopy outside the clubhouse and a small, contained fire she’d watched someone start that bathed the whole of the yard in a warm orange glow.

She leant forward as more bodies flooded out into the compound, voices raised and laughter loud as the music was turned up a notch and another Lone Riders party got underway. Parties she was all too familiar with. They’d been a part of her life since – since forever. She leant further forward, squinting slightly as she tried to see if there were any new faces. She couldn’t really tell from so far away. But she had a feeling that – apart from the Prospects who were bound to be new – everything would be just the same. As familiar as it had been the day she’d left just over eight years ago.

Hanging her head she clasped her hands between her knees and breathed in deeply, a wave of nerves washing over her. There was a part of her that just wanted to run, back to where she’d come from, away from this and everything it could kick up, but there was another part of her that knew she had to do this. She had to face this. She’d come back to Paradise for a reason – it was her home. It was where she belonged, even though she’d spent the first fourteen years of her life in England. But Paradise – it was her home. And she wanted that safety back. She needed some questions answered. She needed to find her own truth because, for far too long, she’d been living someone else’s.

 © Michelle Betham 2014


Choosing the music for the soundtrack to this book has also been an absolute joy for me, because I think most people who know me know I'm a huge rock fan - the heavier side of music has always been my preference, and this has been shown in the music I've been listening to whilst writing Revolution. But, even though a lot of the tracks have been hard and loud, there are a couple of songs in the track list that show off the lighter side of rock - songs that contain lyrics that actually reflect the story in this book, how the characters feel, what they want to say to each other because, like I said, hidden beneath the tough exterior of an outlaw motorcycle club, is a love story. A messed-up, complicated love story, but it's a love story nonetheless. Because the characters in this book lead very different lives to the ones we're probably used to... And one of those songs is this one - Breaking Inside by Shinedown, a beautiful, heavy, guitar-laced rock ballad with lyrics that scream out Lexi's feelings towards a member of the club, and, indeed, his feelings for her, too...



Watch this space for the Revolution cover reveal, happening very soon.

Revolution - the ride begins October 2014...

Monday, 15 September 2014

Sons of Anarchy Season 7, Episode 1 - My view...

*This post contains major spoilers - you have been warned...*

So, I've now watched the season 7 opener of Sons of Anarchy. The Final Ride. And I still can't type that without feeling a little stab of pain... But, what did I think of it? Well, without a shadow of a doubt that was one hell of an episode! And here are just a few of my favourite moments...

* Juice in hiding, but who knew he was so tidy? That boy can come hide at my place for as long as he likes, especially if he feels the need to run the vacuum round a couple of times, tidy the cupboards... Oh, and he's still breaking my heart, but maybe I just need to get that under control...


Juice - in hiding, but for how long...?
* Jax, full of hell and determined to do anything he can to avenge Tara's death - including sticking a fork into some poor Chinese bloke's head after he was (wrongly, obviously) blamed for Tara's death by Gemma. Anything to keep the heat off, eh, Gem? Quite honestly, though, Charlie Hunnam looks so much more attractive when he's got his angry face on. So much more attractive... I almost fancy him when he's going off on one...

* Chibs being all forceful and taking control - such a turn on, I can't even tell you, but I'm really not going there in this blog post... and he smiled! I love it when he smiles... *sigh*

* Tig being Tig. Because I just love Tig. He gets all the best lines...

* Nero still rocking those cardigans (but I do love Jimmy Smits). 

* Chucky's apparent new love of classical music... Oh, it's so good to have my boys back!

Charlie Hunnam as Jax, with Marilyn Manson... yeah... I know...

And it looks like this opener is setting up this final (nope, still can't say that word without feeling a teary build-up at the back of my eyes) season to be one blood soaked, wild and crazy ride!  Which is exactly what we want, although I'm still a bit concerned as to who is going to come out of this almost certain bloodbath alive, because Kurt Sutter has said that two club members will be dead before the season is over. Please, God, just let Chibs live. And Tig. And Bobby. And Juice... I'm really not dealing with this all that well, am I?

The Boys are back...

Anyway, I'm not here to give some long-winded recap of this episode. There are a wealth of those out there. And, to be honest, I was on the vodka on Friday night when I watched it so it'll need a second viewing from me to take it all in properly. I just feel the need to use my blog to get my feelings on this show off my chest, because this is the last time the Sons are going to be riding through the streets of Charming. And I'm starting the therapy early, because, by December, it'll all be over, and all we'll be left with is memories. And constant re-runs. And more memories. I swear to God, this show is messing me up way more than Breaking Bad did, and that's saying something. I was a wreck for about a month after that ended, so I'm dreading that final ever episode of SOA. Which, in a spot of spectacularly bad timing, is just days after my deadline to get another novel to my publishers. 

So, we've got Jax thinking Tara's death has now been avenged, when in reality we know all he's probably done is start one hell of a kick-off in Charming! I hope someone's given that new sheriff a heads-up... And I think we're going to have to wait a while yet before Tara's death is really avenged... if it is ever avenged...

What's going to happen to Unser now Juice has him held hostage in Wendy's bathroom? (Who knows? But I bet that bathroom's had a good run round with the bleach...) And will Chibs be taking control and acting all forceful every week? Because, if he is, I think I need to be more prepared... 

Anyway, that's one episode of this Final Ride (no... it's not getting easier to say that...) down, only another twelve (I think???) to go. And I can only imagine the s**t that's gonna go down over the next few weeks. And none of it is gonna be pretty...

Right, I'd better get back to the writing. I've still got a shed load of work to do on my soon-to-be-released MC Romance, and if I want you all to meet my very own group of biker boys before we say goodbye to the Sons, I'd better get my arse in gear...