Between April 19th - April 22nd it 's The Contemporary Novelists' Book Fair - a chance for authors to showcase their latest novel/work in progress on their very own "blog stall", and a chance for readers to browse those blog stalls, and check out just what these authors have to offer.
And a huge thank you has to go to the wonderful Francine Howarth for organising this event, and giving us authors a chance to showcase our work.
For my contribution, I'm showcasing my latest contemporary romance, Striker...
Ryan Fisher is young, talented, and very sexy; a professional soccer player with the world at his feet he's returning to his native North East England after more than a decade away in a multi-million-pound transfer deal to Newcastle Red Star, a big-name local club. He's got it all - looks, fame, money; women falling at his feet, and a lifestyle he's in no hurry to give up. But is his return to the north of England as clear-cut as it seems? Or is there something deeper involved...?
Amber Sullivan is a beautiful, feisty TV Sports Editor for a local North East news programme. With an ex-professional footballer for a father she's grown up around the sport, but the one thing she's sworn off is relationships with men who play the game. For a reason. As far as Amber's concerned work comes first, and she's determined that nothing and nobody will get in the way of that. But then Ryan Fisher walks into her life, and a figure from her past returns, turning her safe, steady, well-ordered world upside down...
Jim Allen is a handsome, charismatic, extremely successful American-born football manager. He's been poached from a top London club to join Newcastle Red Star in a bid to give them the success that's eluded them for so long, but is the league title the only thing Jim's out to win? And what are his real motives for coming to the North East? Motives that have nothing to do with football...
Ryan, Amber and Jim all have secrets - secrets that could ruin careers, and alter lives, forever. But, as their lives suddenly become intertwined, how will those secrets affect them? And who will ultimately win the game?
The first in a trilogy of books, 'Striker' is a a sexy, steamy romance set in - but not about - the world of professional football. Concentrating on the lives of those who live and work within the so-called Beautiful Game, it's a story about finding love, keeping secrets, wielding power, and the true cost of fame.
So, get ready for 'Fifty Shades of Football', but remember, The Beautiful Game isn't always so pretty...
‘You’re smiling,’ Ryan pointed out. Was he making progress here? Was he actually beginning to melt the ice-queen’s frosty exterior?
‘Am I?’ Amber asked, knowing that she was, and not really caring. She was having a great time tonight, even if she had somehow found herself in the middle of some sort of conversation with Ryan Fisher, arrogant bastard and self-styled northern playboy. And now she couldn’t even remember the question he’d asked her not two minutes ago. ‘Sorry, did you just ask me something?’
‘Are you here with Ronnie White? I mean, I know you said you’re just friends, but, someone told me you two used to go out once-upon-a-time.’
‘Did they now,’ Amber said. It wasn’t a question.
‘You never told me that.’
‘Because it’s got nothing to do with you.’
‘So, did you? Go out with Ronnie White, I mean. Only, I hear you’ve got a bit of a strict “no footballers” rule going on.’
‘You’ve been hearing a lot tonight, haven’t you?’
‘Makes a change to hear stuff about other people, rather than me.’
‘Must be such a pain in the arse, not being the centre of attention.’
Ryan shrugged. ‘It’s good to get a night off.’
She couldn’t help smiling again, despite herself.
‘Anyway, you haven’t answered my question. You and Ronnie White…’
Amber looked over towards the corner table where Ronnie was talking into his mobile phone, laughing at whatever was being said down the line. ‘This really has got absolutely nothing to do with you and I don’t know why I’m even telling you but, yes. We used to go out. For all of five minutes, really.’
‘Nothing mind-blowingly serious then?’
She looked at him, right into those deep blue eyes. ‘No. Nothing serious.’
Nobody said anything for a few seconds, and then Ryan took his chance, gently grabbing her arm and steering her out into the quieter corridor that housed the toilets and an entrance that led to the bar’s outdoor terrace area.
‘What are you doing?’ Amber asked, taking a few seconds to register just what it was that was happening. That’d teach her to down champagne too quickly. She’d only had two glasses but it was enough to make her reflexes slower and her judgement that little bit clouded.
‘Look, when I first met you yesterday I really didn’t like you. I mean, you’re this great-looking woman but your attitude was crap…’
‘Excuse me? My attitude was crap? And which charm school did you graduate from? I’ve got to get back to Ronnie…’
‘No, hang on, Amber…’ He reached out to grab her arm again, swinging her back round to face him.
‘What? What do you want from me?’
He looked at her, not exactly sure how to answer that. He wanted to sleep with her, yeah. Of course he did. But, despite the fact he was Ryan Fisher – and if he wanted to sleep with someone then it usually happened – this was a whole different ball game. She wasn’t going to just fall at his feet like the girls he usually went for. He was going to have to work hard to get this one anywhere near his bed, and hard work outside of the football pitch wasn’t something Ryan was keen on. Would she be worth the effort? ‘I just want to get to know you,’ he said, his eyes not leaving hers.
‘Oh. Really.’ Again, it wasn’t a question.
‘You do know I’m a good few years older than you, don’t you?’
Ryan shrugged. ‘So? What’s that got to do with anything?’
Amber narrowed her eyes as she continued to stare at him. ‘So, you’re telling me you’re bored with all the young and pretty football groupies all vying for your attention and thought you’d try your hand with an older woman instead? Is that it? You’re tired of the wannabe WAGS, huh?’
‘I’m not tired of anything, Amber. I’m not bored of anything and I’m not even thinking too hard about any of this. I just like what I see and I want to find out more. Where’s the harm in that?’
Amber just looked at him for a few more seconds before turning on her red high heels and walking away.
‘Amber! Jesus, come on… Shit!’ Ryan leaned back against the wall and ran a hand through his short dark hair, closing his eyes for a second. Under normal circumstances he’d give this up as a bad job and move onto the next one, but two things were different here: one – he’d never had to give anything up as a “bad job” before because nobody had ever walked away from him like she’d just done. And two – he didn’t want to move onto the next one. He wanted Amber Sullivan.
Striker is available to download HERE from Amazon.
And don't forget, you can check out all the other fabulous blog stalls by clicking this link, or the picture link in the top right hand corner of this blog. All the authors taking part are listed at the bottom of the page - just click on their names to take you to their blog stalls! You never know, you might just find something new to read this weekend. :)
P.S. A HUGE thank you to one of my fabulous readers, and friend, Nikki Hardie, for creating the main character/book image used in this blog post.
Follow @michellebetham Tweet