Today our guest is Michelle Betham and her book Shirley Valentine Goes To Vegas
Where is your home town?
My home town is a place called Whitley Bay, a small seaside town in north-east England, but I’m currently living a few miles away from there in County Durham.
How long have you been writing romance?
I’ve been writing romance for about six years now. Although, it feels like I’ve been doing it a lot longer!
What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?
It’s got to be action and adventure romance, and rock star romance. I love my romance with a bit of a kick, and that goes for what I read as well as what I write.
Introduce us to Lana Saunders.
Lana Saunders is about to turn forty. Newly-divorced after twenty years of marriage she’s grown tired of being the perfect corporate wife – mainly because she wasn’t very good at it. So she decides to completely change her life, and finally become the woman she’s always wanted to be, after too long trying to be the woman everyone else wanted her to be. Reconnecting with her tattoo artist brother, she gets herself “inked”, changes her hair, her clothes; her attitude. She even ditches her job as a stage manager in a theatre in order to train to become a tattoo artist herself. Lana is someone who’s lived most of her life for others, because it was the easy option. But after realising life was passing her by, she now wants to grab hold of it, live it to the full, and see just where that takes her. For once in her life, Lana Saunders is taking risks…
Why does she choose to go to Las Vegas rather than any other city?
She goes to Vegas with her brother, to attend a tattoo convention. But it’s a place she’s always wanted to visit, and it turns out to be a happy coincidence that she’s there at that particular time.
How would you describe the “Shirley Valentine” effect? What does it do to women?
I think it makes women realise that they don’t always have to “settle” for something that maybe isn’t making them happy anymore. Because that’s what Lana was doing – she was “settling”, until one day she realised she didn’t have to do that. I love the idea of the “Shirley Valentine” effect – this idea that you’re never too old to get out there and find that new life or follow your dreams. You’re never too old to take risks.
Who does Lana meet?
When she’s in Vegas, Lana meets Scotsman Eddie Fletcher. He’s a biker, and with his unkempt hair, beard and tattoos he’s the complete opposite of her businessman ex-husband. But he’s the kind of man Lana’s always secretly dreamed of – handsome in a rough-around-the-edges kind of way. Maybe even a little bit dangerous. And the instant connection between them can’t be denied. He’s exciting, and different, and that’s exactly what she’s looking for.
Tell us the most extreme thing Lana pushes her boundaries to do.
I think it’s when she starts to suspect there might be a slightly darker side to Eddie, yet she still can’t walk away – when she realises how different her new world has become. Taking risks was never something Lana did, in her past life. But she suddenly finds herself being faced with taking more risks than she could ever have imagined.
Tell us what you are working on at the moment.
At the moment I’m working on a rock star romance I began last year, but I’ve recently dug it out, had a read through, and decided I need to finish it! And I’m also working on another part-finished book involving movie stars, betrayal and hidden secrets – it’s a bit of a bonkbuster, that one! I’m also planning another series of biker romances, after releasing my first three MC romance novels over the past few months. That’s a genre I’m really falling in love with!