Thursday, 21 June 2012

Illusions of Love - We have a cover!

The story continues for India, Kenny, Charley etc.. in this follow-up book


So, as I crack on with the final read-through of my new novel, 'Illusions of Love', sorting out the usual formatting problems on the Kindle (which have, thankfully, been few and far between - so far!) I can now reveal that we have a cover for the book!  And I hope this cover will let people know that this is very much a follow-up book to my debut novel, the epic Hollywood romance, 'No Matter What'

I've tried to make the covers similar, tried to tie them together in some way to keep the continuity, and I hope I've succeeded.

Where the story all began...
Right then, this was just a brief post to let everyone have a peek at the cover, but now I'd better get back to that read-through if I want this book out by the end of next week, as originally planned.


So, if you're looking forward to more sexy escapism (and it does get quite sexy at times!), more Hollywood glamour, and more twists and turns in the lives of these characters, just hang on a few more days and you can find out just what happens next for India, Charley, Kenny and the rest of the guys from 'No Matter What'.

Okay.  Back to work then! :-) Oh, and remember, if you haven't yet read 'No Matter What', and you think you might like to before giving 'Illusions of Love' a go, it's available to download from Amazon so, check it out and see what you think. :-) 

You can also read excerpts from both 'No Matter What' and 'Illusions of Love' here - No Matter What - Chapters 1-4, No Matter What - excerpt and Illusions of Love - a small excerpt.

You can also check out the "book blurb" for 'Illusions of Love' here in this blog post - Illusions of Love - the "book blurb".

Right... head down and let's get on with this final read-through... :-)

Monday, 18 June 2012

Illusions of Love - Check out the book blurb...


As I'm sure most of you know by now, my new book, Illusions of Love is almost due for release - within the next couple of weeks, God willing!  The follow-up to my debut novel No Matter What, it begins around a year or so after the end of No Matter What and continues the story of movie stars India Walsh, Kenny Ross, Reece Brogan, and everybody else from that first book.

Anyway, today I thought I'd share the book blurb for this new novel - let those that are waiting for this second installment of Hollywood romance see just what's in store in Illusions of Love...

So, see what you think, and please let me know if you're looking forward to this second helping of sexy movie star romance...

It might not change your world, but it might take you to somebody else's, just for a little while... ;-)

Get ready for the follow-up... Coming VERY soon!

Hollywood movie star India Walsh is moving on from her past.  Or so she’d like to think.  But, as she prepares to start shooting her new movie in Las Vegas – a movie which is to be directed by her ex-husband, Michael Walsh, the man responsible for making sure a great deal of India’s past needs to be left behind –  her decision to make this movie means that those around her aren’t too sure that she truly can leave the past behind… Can she really work so closely with Michael – given everything that happened – and not let history repeat itself?  Or will a new face in her life bring her a welcome distraction from a past she should never go back to…?

Dominic MacDonald is talented, insanely handsome, and Hollywood’s hottest property.  With a habit of dating most of his leading ladies he has a playboy reputation that precedes him, but, as he prepares to head for Vegas to work alongside India Walsh on a new romantic comedy, he’s well aware that she’s one leading lady who may not be so easily swayed.  But he’s determined to try.   Because he needs to get close to India for a reason...
So, Dominic MacDonald is heading to Vegas with a plan.  A plan that involves India.  Because Dominic MacDonald also has a secret.  A big secret.  A secret that involves somebody very close to India.  A secret that will not only rock her world to its core but also, ultimately, the worlds of those around her…

Meanwhile, India’s best friend Charley has finally moved on from a past she’s fought hard to put behind her.  Now a successful beauty salon owner she loves her new role as an up-and-coming businesswoman.  She's happily married to Las Vegas hotel owner and movie producer Vince Maine, they have a beautiful daughter, and a life Charley adores.  Until that past she’s tried so hard to forget catches up with her in a way she hadn’t even begun to imagine.  A past that puts her bright new future, her marriage, and even the lives of everyone around her in danger…


Kenny Ross has made a decision – he’s not going to let certain aspects of his life hold him back any longer.  He’s determined to try and forget everything that stopped him from moving forward in the past but, when he arrives in Vegas to visit India, he soon becomes involved in something that sees disturbing aspects of his past come back to haunt him.  Is history about to repeat itself in Kenny Ross’s world?  In more ways than one…

As the lives of this group of people once more become intertwined, is the past finally going to make sure that nobody’s future can ever move forward?  Are secrets and lies once more going to cause peoples’ worlds to collapse around them?

As emotions take over, and more mistakes are made, events in all their lives slowly merge together, leading to one shocking and terrifying night that none of them will forget…


I hope this has whetted the appetite of those of you who are waiting for this sequel, although I still prefer to call it a continuation myself.  If it has, then you just need to wait for me to make a decision on the cover, and, fingers crossed that I don't find too many formatting errors when I do a read-through on the Kindle, it should be ready for release by the end of next week!  That's what I'm aiming for, so let's see if I can make that happen... :-)

In the meantime, if you haven't yet read and would like to check out the book that spawned this follow-up, 'No Matter What' is available to download from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.  800+ pages of epic romance for just a couple of quid/dollars! ;-)
 
Right.  Back to work on sorting this cover out then...

Friday, 15 June 2012

This week I have mostly been...

... Editing, watching football, and moaning...  Let's take those one at a time, shall we?

Okay - editing.  Yes, I've spent a good few hours every day this week avoiding social networking (and that hasn't been easy) in order to get my new book finished and ready for publication within the next two weeks, and thanks to this enforced burst of self-discipline, it looks like I'm still on track for the end of June release I'd originally wanted.  Of course, this is all subject to my husband having the time to help me with the technical side of things, because, without him, there would be no book.  I can write the thing but I can't even begin to work out how to get it up there on Amazon!  So, as long as he's got the time to help me with everything, then 'Illusions of Love' should be ready to hit the virtual bookshelf in a couple of weeks!

This sequel (although I'm still not keen on callling it a sequel, it's definitely more of a continuation) hasn't been the easiest book to write, mainly because I care so much about the characters that I really wanted to make sure I did my best for them in this second book, but I'm also aware it isn't going to be the easiest book to market, either.  I've tried to make the book a stand-alone book in its own right, so that you don't really have to have read 'No Matter What'  first to get what's going on, but I still think it would be much more enjoyable if people had read 'No Matter What'  first.  So, to all intents and purposes, I'm really going to have to be marketing two books, aren't I?  Both 'No Matter What' and 'Illusions of Love' !  Yep, I really do like to make my life easy!

Anyway, so, if you're looking forward to finding out just what happened to India, Charley, Kenny and the rest of the gang from 'No Matter What'  then you'll, hopefully, not have to wait too long!  Mind you, I'm still having issues with the cover...

And if you haven't yet read 'No Matter What' and you quite fancy losing yourself in an 800+ page epic of a romance spanning two-decades, you can check out the first few chapters of the book in this very early blog post of mine - No Matter What - chapters 1-4 and you can find another excerpt from the book here - No Matter What - sample excerpt.

You can also check out a small excerpt from that soon-to-be-released follow-up, 'Illusions of Love' here - Illusions of Love - sample excerpt.

If you're looking for a little bit of sexy, glamorous romance, a dose of pure escapism, and you like your books a bit like a Jackie Collins mixed with a touch of Danielle Steel and a sprinkling of Jilly Cooper, then you just might like 'No Matter What' and 'Illusions of Love'... you just might... Does the plugging ever stop...? ;-)

Right, what else have I been doing this week?  Oh, yeah.  Watching football.  And moaning.  Because the two are linked, actually.  We're in the middle of Euro 2012 and somehow, as usual when it comes to big football tournaments, I've been sucked in and now seem to find myself most evenings watching entire matches, although, that's usually because there's not much else on in the way of alternative entertainment. I mean, tonight for example, because England are playing (on BBC1),  ITV has decided not to even bother competing for viewers so there's no Coronation Street, just a repeat of Lewis for those who don't want to endure England being beaten by Sweden.  Yes, that's my prediction.  Sweden really have to win this match to have a chance of moving forward into the next round (blimey! I almost sound as if I know what's going on there!) and I just think they'll have more passion and drive than England have... that's my opinion, anyway.  Oh, that and the fact that England have never beaten Sweden in a competitive match yet... (I'm not sad enough to know that statistic myself, I've just heard it on the news...)
I'm not really feeling all that patriotic to be honest.  I'm actually supporting Spain in this tournament, (I used to live there, they're my second team), mainly because I'm not altogether certain that England can go that far in this competition and I need someone to support or my interest is going to wane terribly fast.  I'm only sticking with the tournament at the minute because, so far, it hasn't mucked up the scheduling of Holby City...

I'm missing my regular visits to the cobbles...
But what it has mucked up is the scheduling of the soaps.  And that is not making me happy!  I love a bit of Coronation Street - I look forward to curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea and the dog to watch what's going down on those famous cobbles but now, thanks to the football, episodes are sporadic and all over the place!  I mean, there are only two episodes next week!  Two!!??   That's scandalous!  Sunita has just begun her transformation into a full-scale bunny-boiler and we get two frigging episodes! Not happy.  At all.  If it wasn't for the fact it's Janine's wedding to that psycho Michael in an hour-long Eastenders next week, which means something's going to kick-off, as it always does in soap weddings, then I'd be absolutely distraught!  Okay, slight exaggeration there, but I wouldn't be best pleased, let me tell you.  And it's going to happen all over again once the bloody Olympics start...

Oh, and one last random thing before I go, because this really made me wonder just how many porkies (porkie pies - lies, for those of you who don't know what that means) celebrities tell... On Loose Women the other day, the object of my 80's crush, Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon, apparently said that his missus, the ever-gorgeous Yasmin Le Bon, never went into "wife-mode", and by that he meant that she never walked round the house in tracksuit bottoms and slippers.  Really?  In all those years of marriage the woman has never dressed comfortably?  Well, that might be fine for her, but I'm afraid if Mr Le Bon had been lucky enough to marry me (oh, the dreams I had back in the early 80's...) things wouldn't have been quite so glamorous because the thought of settling down to watch Casualty in a tight little backless number and a pair of Christian Louboutins just isn't my idea of fun... Still not entirely sure he's telling the truth to be honest...

The follow-up is just a couple of weeks away...
Right, I'd better stop rambling on and get back to putting the finishing touches to 'Illusions of Love'.  It's about ready to be put on the Kindle for me to check the formatting and (hopefully) pick up any stray spelling or grammatical errors then, once I've finally made a decision on the cover, it should be all systems go sometime in the final week of June!  Fingers crossed...

Have a great weekend!  And remember, if you're looking for something to read... ;-)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Introducing Dominic MacDonald... and a small excerpt from the book he appears in - 'Illusions of Love'...

Those of you who know me will be more than aware that I have a new book due out very soon (if I get my brain into gear and finish the editing, that is), and you'll also know that this new book is a follow-up to my debut novel, 'No Matter What''Illusions of Love' sees the story continue just a few months after 'No Matter What' ended, and whereas most of the characters from 'No Matter What' make a return, we also see the introduction of a new character, hot and handsome movie star Dominic MacDonald.  Inspired by one of my favourite actors, the rather lovely Bradley Cooper, Dominic MacDonald is set to make an impact on more than one person, but you'll have to wait and see just what that impact is going to be.  In the meantime, though, here's a little excerpt from 'Illusions of Love' that gives you a bit of an introduction as to just who this new character is...

  
Dominic MacDonald was thirty-six-years-old, six-foot-one inches tall and about as handsome as you could get without it being illegal.  He had messed-up, almost scruffy-looking dark brown hair but on him it looked less rock star and more stylish, framing a face that carried the most incredible blue eyes and a smile that could only be described as devastating.  Yet, despite all of this, he wasn’t somebody who knew he was good looking and wanted the world to know that, although, he could turn it on when he needed to.  When the situation called for it.  But, when he wasn’t playing Mr Movie Star he was a modest, almost understated young man.  He was naturally charming, very polite, and someone who just happened to be one of the most incredible looking men in the world of movies right now.
With a flair for romantic comedies he was an actor who was very much in demand.  He was a lot of peoples’ first choice for leading man and he played the part like nobody else could, with his natural charm and modesty translating perfectly onto the big screen.  Originally from Manhattan, he’d moved to L.A. in his mid-twenties, when the movie offers had started flooding in, and over the years he’d had a steady and successful career, working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood with varying degrees of success.  Because his one downfall was the fact he couldn’t stay away from relationships with his leading ladies.  He had a reputation for falling in love with his pretty co-stars then leaving them the second a new movie offer appeared with a new conquest on the horizon, but even he was getting tired of that now.  He wasn’t twenty-five anymore.  He was getting older.
Bradley Cooper - the inspiration for the character of Dominic MacDonald
























But, despite that, settling down wasn’t high on his agenda just yet.  No, he had quite a few things to sort out before he even began to think about that, because the past year or so had thrown up a few surprises in Dominic’s life.  He was still getting his head around everything his mother had told him just before she’d died, only a few months ago.  Things she’d waited until her final breath to tell him.  Things he’d had no idea about, until now.  Things that had messed up his head for a while but he was in control now, it was all in hand.  He was coping with the news, and in some ways it made a lot of things in his life make a lot more sense but, well; he’d get there.  He knew what he was doing.
Walking over to the bathroom mirror he stared at his tired reflection.  Maybe he shouldn’t have stayed up half the night playing poker, not when he should be preparing for this new movie he was due to start shooting any day now.
Las Vegas - the main setting for 'Illusions of Love'
He looked back out into the bedroom, at the pretty young woman lying naked in his bed, still asleep and not anywhere near as appealing as she had been last night when he’d been blinded by too much Jack Daniels and a box of Cuban cigars.  He really had to cut back on nights like that, so maybe heading to Las Vegas – the setting for his new movie – wasn’t the ideal place for him to be going.  But, then again, it was also the place he needed to be.  He was looking forward to it.  For a number of reasons.  Who wouldn’t say no to a couple of months in Vegas?  Especially when you were going to be working alongside the one actress he’d waited years to make a movie with.  The one actress he’d always wanted to meet but, so far, had never managed to get anywhere near.  Now, however, he had a reason for wanting to get close to her.
Dominic smiled at his reflection, running his fingers over his rough chin.  Yeah, he was looking forward to Vegas.  He had no idea what was going to happen once he got there, he hadn’t planned that far ahead yet, but one thing he knew for sure was that he was going to enjoy it.  He was going to enjoy every single second.

©Michelle Betham 2012

Okay.  There we have it.  You've now met Dominic MacDonald, a man with plans; a man with a secret.  But you'll have to wait until the release of 'Illusions of Love' to find out just what that secret is.


However, in the meantime, if you'd like to check out the book that spawned this follow-up,
'No Matter What' is available to download from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com   
Be warned, though, it's a very long novel, coming in at just over 800 pages!  But it does span almost 20 years, and for only a few dollars/a couple of quid it's quite a lot of book! ;-)

You can also check out an extract from 'No Matter What' here - No Matter What - excerpt

Okay, well, if 'Illusions of Love' is going to be released any time soon then I'd better get back to the editing because, hopefully, some of you out there are waiting for this follow-up.  And I hope you won't be disappointed...

* UPDATE*: 'Illusions of Love' has now been released and is available to download from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com


Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Jubilee weekend, Marco Pierre White, and my latest novel, Bon Voyage - A few things I've learnt over the past few days...

Gary Barlow - a source of irritation for me.
1.  Gary Barlow annoys me to the point of giving me a headache.  I mean, I'm a Take That fan, have been since the early 90's, don't get me wrong, but Gary Barlow really, really grates on me, for some reason.  And as I've just spent the recent Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend watching the man angling for a knighthood in a less-than-subtle manner, I'm now dreading the return of The X Factor! He did my head in as a judge last year, and I'm not sure I can take the rise in blood pressure again. Not altogether sure he means to come across as smug as he does, but that's what I'm getting, and it irritates me.  A lot.  Mind you, right now it doesn't take much to irritate me.  Something as simple as an advert for Special K can start me off these days.  It must be me age...
Anyway, Mr Barlow never used to annoy me back in 1991... Oh, and another thing - why didn't Take That play at the Jubilee concert last Monday?  I heard a rumour that Mr Barlow snubbed Duran Duran (bit of a mistake that, Duran Duran would have been a very welcome addition to that gig) but I'm going to assume there was a very good reason for Gary not asking the rest of the band (bar Robbie, I know he was there) to play at that gig, considering he was organising it.  Maybe Howard was DJ'ing in Cleethorpes or something...

Sir Tom Jones giving it his all at the Jubilee Concert
2.  I adore Tom Jones.  I've always had a soft spot for Mr Jones, ever since I took my mother to see him at Newcastle City Hall way back in the late 80's, because he put on one hell of a show.  He was incredible live, and I honestly think - in my opinion - that he stole the show at the recent Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace.  He was probably the only one not to drop a note (poor Cheryl Cole - she should never have sung live), although Grace Jones did a fair old job too, and she sang a whole song whilst hula-hooping! Got to give the woman kudos for that - she's as old as me mother!
But, no, Sir Tom did it for me - even at his age! His voice is amazing, he's still sounding incredible, and I'll always be a (not-so-secret) fan girl.  And big congratulations to Leanne Mitchell, the winner of The Voice UK.  She was on Sir Tom's team, and she was the deserved winner in my opinion.

3.  Jimmy Carr, Miranda Hart, Lenny Henry, Rob Brydon, etc... aren't funny - Peter Kay is.  Still trying to work out why all these comedians were necessary at that Jubilee concert, because they really weren't needed in my opinion.  Half the time I was cringing when they came on, and even though Peter Kay gave me the only laugh of the night, even he wasn't up to his usual standard.  He was just funnier than the rest of them... put together...

Big Brother 2012 is back! Not altogether sure that's a good thing...
4.  I really should avoid Big Brother.  Yep, it's that time of year again.  Big Brother has once more hit our screens and I have - as per usual - made the mistake of starting to watch it, and just two days in I'm already shouting at the TV and disliking at least three-quarters of the contestants before it's even got off the ground. Especially that one from Essex...  I'll have turned off by week three, just like last year, I can almost guarantee it...

5.  I find Marco Pierre White's voice rather sexy... Yes, I know, he looks like he's just been dragged through half a dozen bushes by a herd of angry wildebeest, but it's not his looks I find attractive.  God, no!  It's his voice.  And I have no idea why, I just find it kinda sexy.  So, I shall be sitting down tonight in front of His new show on Channel 5, Kitchen Wars, for an hour of easy on the ear, if not exactly easy on the eye...

Not doing that great - review wise - with American readers.

















6.  My latest rom com, Bon Voyage, really isn't going down well with American readers.  I've given up looking at reviews for this book on Amazon.com because I've come to the conclusion, after reading yet another 2-star review, that it's just not going to be popular on the other side of the pond.  And there's not a lot I can do about that.  I'm not saying everyone adores the book here in the UK, they more-than-likely don't, it's just that I haven't received the same amount of negative feedback (yet!) that I've received from American readers.  I have no idea why they find it boring and why it just isn't clicking with them, but it isn't, and I'm resigned to that fact now.  Still, I now can't look at Bon Voyage's page on Amazon.com without breaking out in a cold sweat.  In fact, I think if anyone gives me a rating above 2 stars I may well become hysterical and start laughing like a hyena...  Who knew my harmless little comedy romance could create such disdain... ? ;-)

7. England haven't had a decent football team since Italia '90.  In my opinion, of course.  But that's the way I feel.  Back in the days of Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Bryan Robson etc. they were exciting to watch, they created this air of patriotism that made you care about results.  I mean, when England lost out in the semi-final of the World Cup in Italy in 1990, I cried!  I sobbed like a baby, I swear.  Gutted didn't even begin to describe it.  Me eyes were still red and puffy when I went to college the next day, and I wasn't the only one.  So, how do I feel about the England squad we have now as we approach the beginning of Euro 2012?  I couldn't care less.  I really couldn't.  In fact, I'm not even sure I can be bothered to watch.  There just doesn't seem to be that same air of excitement these days, and maybe that's because football has changed so much over the years, but I'm just not sure that every single one of those players out there has the passion that past players used to have.  Or maybe I've just stopped caring.  Who knows?  All I know is these Euro Championships have stuffed up me soap schedules for the next few weeks and I'm not happy...


Just realised that most of what I've written up there actually makes me sound like a grumpy old woman!  But I'm not, not really.  Just resigned to middle-age now.  A license to moan more!! ;-)

Anyway, I've moaned enough for now, it's time to get back to the editing.  'Illusions of Love' is almost ready to go, but not before I've gone through it with a fine toothed comb... again!  And probably again, and another time after that...

In the meantime, why not check out something else I've been distracted by over the past few days - I've created a board over on Pinterest containing images and music that have inspired me during the writing of 'Illusions of Love', so go check it out here Illusions of Love inspiration board.  And if the mood takes you, check out another board I'm in the process of creating for all my other books Pinterest - My Books.

Okay, I'm definitely off now.  This editing won't do itself... if only... ;-)

Have a lovely Thursday!