Friday, 30 August 2013

Summer Driving Songs - My Favourite 5...

I was tagged earlier in the week by my lovely author friend Amanda Egan to reveal my Ultimate Summer Driving List - check out Amanda's choices HERE - and, even though I don't (can't) drive, I didn't think that was going to be a problem. I'm a writer after all, aren't I? I can use my imagination. I can close my eyes and imagine myself behind the wheel of my dream car... actually, I'm not sure I've even got a dream car. I'm not really a car kind of person. I only used to watch Top Gear for Richard Hammond, before he got incredibly annoying... 

Anyway, back to the whole point of this post. OK, I don't drive, but I'm still going to share my favourite driving songs - maybe not all of them summer-related, though - as I take that imaginary journey in my imaginary car, with Bradley Cooper in the passenger seat, Haagen Dazs in the cool box, the wind in our hair... oh, I love the way my imagination works...

Right, song number 1...

Foo Fighters - The Pretender


Dave Grohl - he'll do...
Don't even get me started on Dave Grohl... my ultimate Rock God, and this is one of the best Foo Fighter tracks ever, in my opinion. I can just imagine me and Bradley driving along the Pacific Coast Highway with this blaring out... perfect...



N-Joi - Anthem


Absolutely LOVE this song! I can just imagine the roof down on the car, sun shining, wind in our hair... (yes, Bradley is still with me...)And this is definitely a great summer song, in my opinion...


Eric Clapton - Forever Man


Always loved Mr. Clapton, but this is one of my absolute favourite songs of his. Just love it...


Joe Bonamassa - Dust Bowl



I can't have any kind of music list that doesn't feature at least one Joe Bonamassa track, because the guy is just a legend! Listen to that guitar... amazing... Another song that sounds great in the sunshine!


Air - All I Need 


I just adore this song! Absolutely adore it. It's one of those songs that instantly makes you chill out, sit back, close your eyes and relax. Probably not a good idea when you're driving, but I can just imagine this song playing as me and Bradley (humour me - we're almost done) get closer to our destination (Malibu), the sun setting, the air cool but still warm, the roads quiet... I can feel another idea for a book coming on...


Bradley & his Haagen Dazs... 'nuff said...
So, there you have it - 5 songs that, if I could drive, would definitely be 5 of my favourite driving songs. What are yours? And, sticking with the fantasy side of things here, who would be your perfect driving companion...? Hands off Bradley, though - he's mine! ;)



Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Extra Time - The Cover Reveal is finally here!

Yes, we finally got there! Extra Time - the second installment of the Striker Trilogy is now in the final stages of editing, the cover is finished, and today I'm revealing that cover... so, here it is!



Extra Time is Book #2 in the Striker Trilogy, a series of books following the turbulent lives of hot, bad boy footballer Ryan Fisher, sexy sports reporter Amber Sullivan, and the charismatic and darkly handsome football manager Jim Allen. Continuing just a few months after Striker left off, all their lives have moved on now. But is everything as settled and straightforward as they'd like it to be? Or are there yet more secrets and lies ready to break free and turn everyone's world upside down all over again...?

Get ready for another sexy, steamy ride as emotions are put to the test, and lives are once more changed forever. The game continues...

Extra Time is due for release in September 2013.


Striker - Book #1 in the trilogy - is available to download now from Amazon and Kobo.



You can also check out Chapter 1 of Striker HERE.

Oh, and if you want a sneaky peek at a little excerpt from Extra Time, you can find it HERE... 



Friday, 16 August 2013

Erotic fiction - am I too old to be writing it? And why my Facebook Author page is making a comeback...

I've got a lovely author friend who currently has the misfortune to be plagued by a "cyber stalker" who, for no reason other than it must be the only way they can get their kicks, poor thing, leaves my friend the occasional snide, nasty and sometimes quite personal comment on her blog. These comments never get published, of course, why give this person a platform? But the other day I was contacted by my friend to say that this "stalker" of hers now had an issue with me. I'd recently written a guest post on her blog to publicise the new cover for Striker, and this post did, of course, mention that Striker was a rather steamy romance. And this is, apparently, what this person had an issue with - not that the book was steamy, but that it had been written by me, a 45-year-old woman. In her words, and I'm paraphrasing here, she thought that the idea of middle-aged women writing erotic fiction was disgusting. Oh, really?


Am I too old to be writing about soccer and sex? Er, no!
Okay, so, I've got a couple of issues myself regarding her opinion. Firstly, can we drop the "middle-aged" thing, please? In my mind it's still 1991, and I'm still in my early 20s, raving away to 808 State down South Parade on a weekend (I'm really curled up on the sofa watching Casualty - the spirit is willing and all that...) so middle-aged is something I really don't feel. I'm very young at heart, and always will be, although I draw the line at following One Direction...

Anyway, back to her issue - the idea of anyone over the age of 35 writing anything sexual being wrong. Is it disgusting? Should we leave all the erotic fiction writing to the young? Now, no way am I taking this person's comment seriously, but it did make me wonder what people really think about erotic romance, and the people who write it. 

As most people who've followed my work know, I haven't always written novels that veer towards the steamy. Some of them have been quite sexy, but in No Matter What and See You At The Show I actually toned down the sex, and removed some scenes altogether. So they're probably a lot tamer than they originally were in draft form. And I've also written books that aren't steamy at all, trying my hand at rom coms and a sweet little Christmas love story. But as I got braver and more confident, things changed slightly with Striker. With that book I dared to step that little bit nearer to the erotic side of romance. Not erotica, I hasten to add. Because I do think there's a difference between erotic romance and erotica. Probably not all that much, in some cases, but a difference none-the-less. And Extra Time, the second installment in the Striker Trilogy has probably moved even further towards that boundary. And I'm taking a risk, because not all of those who've read my earlier books will take to this change in my writing. But I'm enjoying writing these books, very much. Does it matter that I'm in my 40s? Does it? Really? Do we actually care about the age of the person who wrote the book we're reading, as long as we're enjoying the story they've given us? I know I don't. 

I understand that it's difficult for some (usually younger) people to get their heads around the fact that anyone over the age of 40 may still actually have a sex life, but is it really that repulsing to think that they write about it, too? Look at Jackie Collins - she's got a few years on me and she's still doing it. And yes, I know I'm nowhere near the status of Jackie Collins, but I'm just trying to make a point. Would it put you off a book - and I'm talking a steamy book here - if you knew it had been written by someone in their 40s, 50s, or even 60s? Honestly? If Fifty Shades of Grey had been written by a pensioner would you still have read it, or would the thought of someone of that age writing about that kind of stuff repulse you too much to even think about it?

In reality, I don't think there's a reader out there who cares about the age of the author of the book they're reading. Like I said before, if the story is a good one then nothing else matters, least of all the author's age. Is that true of erotic fiction, too? Should I, as an author of the more sexy side of romance, be leaving all of that to the younger writers? Does it put you off reading my steamy novels, knowing I'm about to hit 45? 

I'd be really interested to hear people's views on this, because, my books probably won't be getting much tamer in the coming years. No matter what anyone else thinks... 

Okay, moving quickly onto one final thing. My Facebook Author Page. Now, I know that a couple of weeks ago I shut down my original page, feeling - at the time - that it made more sense to stick to just one Facebook account. Well, I've changed my mind, like I always do. It's a terrible habit of mine...

Anyway, there is now a brand new Michelle Betham author page over on Facebook. I'm starting from scratch, doing it properly this time, and using it for what it should be used for - promoting/talking about my books. If you want to find out more about my work, read extracts from forthcoming books, etc., then this is the place you need to be, although I will still be posting book-related stuff on my personal account, too. I just didn't feel comfortable not having an author page. So it's back - but, as it's brand new, I currently have no likes. Anyone feeling generous...? I'd be really grateful! You can find the all-new Michelle Betham author page HERE. And thank you in advance to anyone who kindly pops over there and "likes" me. 

So, discussion on erotic fiction and the middle-aged, and a plug for my new author page done, I think it's about time I got back to the final round of editing on Extra Time. And for those of you waiting for this second book in the Striker Trilogy, kick-off (I've probably over-used that term so much since I started writing these books, but I can't help meself...) is still scheduled for early September. And look out for the cover reveal some time next week, too.

And whatever you're reading - be it erotic fiction or a good old aga-saga - have a great weekend! 

 
If anyone would like to check out my own stab at erotic romance, written by someone over the age of 40, you can find Striker HERE over on Amazon, and it's now also available HERE on Kobo.


Friday, 9 August 2013

Cover Reveal - The House of Sugar Blood by Rachel Dove

On my blog today I'm really pleased to be featuring author Rachel Dove, and the cover reveal for her new, soon-to-be-released ebook 'The House Of Sugar Blood'.

Check out the fabulous cover, and find out a little bit more about the book, below...




Thought you knew all the fairy tales? Enjoy those cutesy nursery rhymes? Take a little walk on the dark side with Hansel and Gretel and see just who really deserves a happy ending. Follow the siblings on a quest for freedom, life, redemption and forever after.


***

'The House of Sugar Blood' is released on August 24th through Bayou Brew Publishing. This will be followed by 'Uni Assassin', a stand-alone short story which will be out later this year, also with Bayou Brew Publishing.


Find out more about Rachel Dove by checking out her BLOG.

You can also find her Author Page over on Facebook.

To find out more about Bayou Brew Publishing, check out their website - http://www.bayoubrewpublishing.com/



Wednesday, 7 August 2013

'Extra Time' - The Playlist. The music that shaped my forthcoming book.

"She closed her eyes as a moment of utter weakness took over, blinding her to everything else that was happening, everything he was saying, drowning it out in a rush of emotion so strong she couldn’t breathe. And as his mouth touched hers, pressing gently against it, moving slowly, tongues touching, entwining in the most beautiful, deep kiss, she knew she didn’t need to. She didn't need to breathe, he was breathing for her, he was giving her everything she needed because that’s what he did.

Slipping a hand round the back of his neck she pushed him down harder onto her, the kiss getting faster and longer, his hand now sliding under her shirt to touch her naked skin, cupping her breast, sending shivers up and down her spine so strong she literally felt herself shudder in his arms.

But then, almost as fast as this sudden rush of feelings had arrived, a sense of reality hit home like a punch to the stomach and she pushed him away, stepping back, shaking her head..."
 
That was another tiny teaser from Extra Time - the soon-to-be-released second installment of The Striker Trilogy. Just a little something to whet your appetite, if you happen to be one of those people looking forward to meeting up with the characters from Striker again, and seeing just where this new story takes them... 
But, as is usual for me when I'm writing, I write with a playlist - a soundtrack of music that has helped me, inspired me, even guided me along as the story develops. And Extra Time is no different. 
So, just what are some of the songs that have provided the soundtrack to this latest offering in my sexy soccer saga? Read on to find out...
 
En Vogue - Don't Let Go


One of my favourite songs, ever! From one of my favourite girl bands. And it's the lyrics of this song that inspired certain sections of Extra Time... just not saying which ones...
Jordin Sparks - No Air
A beautiful love song with - as far as Extra Time is concerned - incredibly meaningful lyrics... in fact, if I think about the lyrics too much, and put them together with the scenes in the book they're associated with, it actually makes me come over all emotional...
The Shapeshifters - Lola's Theme
Surprisingly, for me, a dance track makes an appearance on this playlist. But it's a dance track with lyrics that mean something as far as this book is concerned...
Lawson - Brokenhearted 
A bit of a current song here, which is unusual for me, seeing as I very rarely listen to a radio station that plays anything released after 1998 these days! But I love this song, and the lyrics - well, once again, they're the important thing here, aren't they...?
Layo & Bushwacka! - Love Story (Tim Deluxe Mix)
I'm not the biggest dance music fan in the world,so it's surprising to see another dance track make an appearance on this list, but I have loved this track ever since it came out years ago. First and foremost it reminds me of some fabulous holidays, but that's irrelevant here. It's also a dance track that has lyrics that mean something to this new story of mine...  
"...you will make the worlds collide, I knew you'd come knocking one day, unannounced like a thief in the night..."
Janet Jackson - If 
One of Janet's... naughtier, shall we say, songs from the 90s. Listen to the lyrics - you'll see why this one is on this playlist... 'nuff said, I think...
Beyonce & Shakira - Beautiful Liar (Freemasons Mix)
Even the title says it all here...
Lisa Stansfield - Time To Make You Mine 
A beautiful song, again, with lyrics that could be described as a little bit racy - bit like this new book of mine, then...
Beyonce - Crazy in Love 
Come on - got to have this one on my playlist!
Alicia Keys - Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart 
And finally, an absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous song that says so much about this forthcoming book of mine. Just listening to this song actually makes me cry! Especially the opening verse, because it relates to an incredibly emotional part of the book... I can feel that lump in me throat again already...

Okay. There we have it. The main songs on my Extra Time playlist - the soundtrack to this forthcoming book. And there are songs on there that have truly inspired parts of the story, so much so that if you listen to the lyrics too hard you might actually find one or two spoilers in there!! 
This is something I love doing - finding songs that inspire me, songs that can actually lead a story. And that story is due to hit those virtual bookshelves in just a few weeks' time now, as long as the editing continues to go to plan, that is. Talking of which, I'd better get back to it, and take this playlist with me. Who knows how it could help with those all-important final touches... ;)
 
Extra Time - Book Two in The Striker Trilogy - is due for release in September 2013.
Striker - Book One in the series - is available HERE from Amazon and HERE from Kobo.