Friday, 29 May 2015

A little bit more about 'Resurrection', book #3 in The Lone Riders MC Series...


Beginning just a few weeks after the events in Retribution, 'Resurrection' takes us deeper into the world of Ben Salter, ex-lawyer to and now a newly patched-in member of the Lone Riders; a man who suddenly finds himself being forced to revisit his dark past in order to secure a safer future for both him, his club, and the woman he's fallen in love with. 

Can he help stop the war that's threatening between the Lone Riders and his father's club, the Dark Angels, the notorious MC Ben was born into? Can he help fight an enemy that is still willing to stop at nothing to bring Coby Walker, the Lone Riders' President, down? And, ultimately, can Ben save himself from sinking further into a life he thought he'd left behind. A life that could destroy him... a life that could destroy everything...






Watch out for the 'Resurrection' cover reveal coming soon!

And you can also check out a little teaser from the book HERE.





Books #1 and #2 in The Lone Riders MC series - Revolution and Retribution - are both available to download now from Amazon. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

'Resurrection', book #3 in The Lone Riders MC Series, is on the way...


I'm cracking on with it. Getting there. The story is down, and the lives of some of the Lone Riders are about to get even more complicated; more confusing; more dangerous...

This next instalment picks up just a month after the events at the end of Retribution, continuing on from where that book left off, taking familiar characters on another head-spinning journey, throwing some new characters into the mix along the way. It's set to be another heart-stopping, breathtaking ride and I just hope you're going to enjoy reading it as much as I'm enjoying writing it. My fictional biker community is growing all the time, and I just love that fact! 

Anyway, for those that are waiting for this thrid book in the Lone Riders Series, I'm going to let you check out this totally unedited (and therefore possibly subject to some tweaking) little peek at the opening few paragraphs of 'Resurrection'... 


Prologue


Somewhere in the distance a train thundered by. Not enough to disturb the peace, but it had woken him anyway, pulled him back from the same dream he’d been having for weeks now.
Hauling himself up onto his elbows he took a couple of seconds to let his eyes adjust to the dim and dingy light. The smell in there wasn’t getting any better, either – a mixture of damp and something he couldn’t describe. Something he wasn’t sure he wanted to know much more about, save that it assaulted his nostrils every time he took a breath.
Reaching out he picked up his watch. He’d slept most of the day, but that wasn’t unusual. That’s what came to living in the dark – no sense of time. Limited daylight. He looked over to the side again. A foil-wrapped parcel and a fresh bottle of water lay next to his discarded jacket. Another food drop must have happened while he’d been asleep, and for that he was grateful. Most of the time he was starving, but what little food he received on a regular basis, it was enough to keep him going.
Twisting the cap off the water he took a long drink, savouring every mouthful, thankful it was cold. The drop must’ve only happened recently.
Drawing his knees up to his chest he leaned forward, resting his forehead on his arms, closing his eyes and breathing in deep, then regretting it, because that smell made him feel sick at times. He had to get out of here, but striking too early would be a bad move. He knew that. He had to wait, until the time was right. And they’d let him know when that was. They stood to gain from this just as much as he did, and once it was over deals would be done, debts would be paid, and he’d be able to move on. Until then, all he could do was sit tight, and wait…


One


Hector Almeda never had been a patient man. That’s why his wife had left him after just six years of marriage. Why his daughter had taken every opportunity to rebel against him in the most extreme of ways. Why his friends both feared and respected him, in equal measure. Why his youngest son had fought him from the second he could talk.
‘You still think this is a good idea?’
Hector looked up, his eyes meeting the cold, steely gaze of his eldest son’s. ‘It needs to be finished, Sol. Once and for all.’
‘I thought we’d agreed to move on. I thought we’d put all this behind us.’
‘Have you forgotten what happened?’
Sol’s dark eyes held his father’s stare. ‘I’ll never forget what happened. But he paid the price.’
Hector looked away, turning around and walking out of the clubhouse, into the burning heat of the southern Californian afternoon. ‘It wasn’t enough.’
Sol followed Hector outside, grabbing the older man’s arm, swinging him around to face him. He’d never been afraid of his father. He’d never once let himself be intimidated by the self-imposed importance Hector Almeda had placed on himself. ‘If I can let it go, why can’t you, huh?’
‘It wasn’t enough, Sol. We don’t leave things like this; it’s not how it works.’
‘If I can say I’m done with it, if I can do that, then you should be able to do what you’ve done for over a decade now and leave it alone. I don’t want any part of it. Not now. Digging all of that up again? You really want to go there?’
Hector stared down at his son’s hand gripping his upper arm. ‘You have no choice. We as a club have no choice. Things have escalated, Sol. And we can’t ignore that. We gave him a chance, when he came back here – we gave him a chance, but now… he’s changed the game. We didn’t do that, that was all on him. He became one of them, and that we can’t ignore. So you – you have no choice.’
Sol pulled his hand away, almost throwing his father’s arm down. ‘I’ve always had a choice.’
Once more Hector’s eyes met Sol’s, holding his gaze. ‘You really believe that?’
Sol let out a low, almost sinister chuckle, sliding his hands into his pockets, stepping back from Hector. ‘I’ve always had a choice.’
Hector watched his son walk away; watched him climb onto his bike and speed off out of the compound before he headed back into the clubhouse.

Sol had no choice. None of them did. Not anymore.

© Michelle Betham 2015


I'm hoping to have 'Resurrection' ready for release some time late summer 2015, but watch this space for more news, updates and, of course, the cover reveal. Want another tiny snippet...? Then look below...



The ride continues...


Revolution and Retribution - books #1 and #2 in the Lone Riders MC Series - are both available to download from Amazon right now.






Tuesday, 5 May 2015

HI Fortnight continues - New review for 'Striker'...


HI Fortnight began last Monday, April 27th, but as I was out of the country on holiday I missed most of the first week. I am, however, back home in time to catch the second week, as this celebration of all things Harper Impulse, from books to bloggers to the many fabulous authors (including me!!) who write under the HI banner, continues until May 10th! 




So, for my part in HI Fortnight, the lovely book blogger Rachel Gilbey is hosting me on her blog this week with a guest post, and reviews of all 3 books in the Striker Trilogy. 

Yesterday I talked about the inspiration behind the Striker Trilogy, and you can check that post out right HERE, and today you can read Rachel's fabulous review of 'Striker', book #1 in the trilogy. And there's also the chance to win a Kindle copy of the book. Head on over HERE to Rachel's Random Reads and check out the giveaway that's running until May 11th. 

Huge thanks to Rachel for kindly hosting me this week, and for leaving this amazing review of 'Striker'...




With Striker, I believe Michelle Betham has done to the world of football, what Jilly Cooper has done to the world of horses. Striker is about so much more than just the beautiful game, it is about Ryan Fisher, a footballing superstar, with the world at his feet, giving in to the pressures that are associated with fame, and the expectations that come with being a Premiership footballer.

Ryan is a complex man, loves having women falling at his feet, but has just left his London club to move back to the North East (for a hidden reason), to sign for club he is a lifelong supporter of Newcastle Red Star. The last thing he was expecting, was to start feeling things for a singular woman, Amber.

Amber is a sports reporter for a local news TV programme, and since her father was a player and now manager, has grown up around footballers. She however has closed off her heart to love, and comes across initially as very cold hearted. Knowing footballers as well as she does, Amber refuses to get involved with any, until she interviews Ryan Fisher, and he gets under her skin.

Then there is also Jim, who is a long term friend of Amber's father Freddie, who is the new manager at Newcastle Red Star a fact that Amber wishes wasn't true. But why?

Striker features essentially a massive love triangle, where Amber can't seem to decide who she should be with. There are fabulously sexy scenes, with hot passionate encounters. Amber and Ryan's journey is far from smooth, and both are hiding big secrets. In fact there are secrets all over this book, which just adds to the intrigue.

Amber is continually drawn to, and seems tormented by this, to Jim, and it feels like it is a greater power that is controlling her, as she seems helpless to fight some of her not necessarily wise emotions.

In amongst all the relationships, there is some football, or at least training sessions, but as much as I love football, what was occurring off the pitch was generally far more interesting than on it! I'm almost speechless, about how addictive this story was, and how highly paced.

This is a fabulous example of a book you want to read while relaxing on holiday, or when you just want some pure raunchy escapism. I am so delighted that I have all three books of this trilogy, as I need to know how the story continues, as I'm sure that where this book ends, can't be the end of it.




Striker is available to download HERE.  Also available in paperback.

And to keep up with all things happening during HI Fortnight, head over to Twitter and use hashtag #HIFortnight


*You can now check out Rachel's reviews for 'Extra Time', book #2 in the Striker Trilogy HERE and book #3, 'Final Score' HERE *

Friday, 1 May 2015

From buffet breakfasts to vodka shots - the story of my Majorcan short break...

I've just returned from a 4 night stay in Santa Ponsa, Majorca - our first proper break in almost 5 years, and it was wonderful! In fact, as I write this, I'm suffering the post-holiday blues big time!! It really was the perfect little holiday - relaxing, fun, with lots of lovely food and drink, and a lot of that was down to the beautiful little hotel we stayed in, but more about that later.

As I said before, we hadn't had a proper break or a holiday abroad for almost 5 years now, and this one was a bargain we couldn't turn down after trawling the internet for something cheap and cheerful over Christmas. But what we got surpassed all expectations.

The early morning Easyjet flight over to Majorca was on time and problem free, even if we did have the obligatory bunch of Geordie blokes in Newcastle United football kits drinking vodka for breakfast and lamenting their team's lack of success this season. To be fair, they weren't overly loud - I've certainly seen worse, and that was from a group of girls! - but they still looked and acted like every reason why women read romance novels!! However, after years of travelling back and forth to Tenerife, which involved four and a half hour flights, the just over two hours flight time went over pretty quickly - I just wish I could say the same about the transfer from airport to hotel, which took almost as long!! The coach drove the scenic route (and then some) around Palma, Palma Nova and Magaluf, dropping people off at hotels all over these resorts before it even began thinking about heading towards Santa Ponsa. And whilst it was lovely to see parts of an island I haven't visited since the late 90s, I was seriously losing the will to live by the end. Needless to say we made a conscience decision there and then to bin the return coach transfer and take a taxi to the airport for our homebound journey.

However, once we (finally!) reached our hotel in Santa Ponsa, the holiday could really begin! And what a little gem of a hotel it turned out to be. The Santa Ponsa Pins is a small, very friendly, family-run hotel about 10 minutes walk from the beach.

The Santa Ponsa Pins Hotel
It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but we loved it! The rooms are small but they've all been refurbished, with the most amazing showers in the bathrooms!! Meals are buffet style, and compared to some of the bigger 4* hotels we've stayed in the choice is more limited, but we always found something to eat, and the food was beautifully cooked, especially the desserts! Breakfasts were good, too - choice of cooked (eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, etc...) and the usual pastries, toast, fruit and cereals.

But what really made it was the people who run the hotel. They never stop working! And they were always pleasant, friendly and helpful, even the barman who, in a hotel frequented by lots of different nationalities, only spoke Spanish. But, somehow, he never got a drinks order wrong!! However, a special mention has to go to Stephen, the night manager, who looked after everything after 11pm, including the 24 hour bar, because his gin measures were something you'll never see in a British pub, believe me! The first night we were there he just got hold of the bottle, held it over the glass and said "say when"!!! After that we always made sure we were back at the hotel for a nightcap!!

The resort itself is actually bigger than we thought. Our first night was a quiet one, but on our first full day there we did a bit of exploring, discovering a more lively part of town with more bars, shops and restaurants, which was where we ended up most evenings.


The beach at Santa Ponsa
We did a lot of walking while we were there, which was just as well because we were putting away some calories, I tell you!! But it meant we also found places that became regular haunts throughout our short stay.


The view from our favourite mid-morning pit-stop...
We discovered a lovely cafe/restaurant that overlooked the beach, and we'd drop by there every day for a mid-morning coffee, watching the world go by and enjoying the tranquility.

Then, for lunch, we found a little cafe right on the beach that served the most fabulous toasted tuna fish sandwiches and ice cold beer. Again, it was the perfect place to while away another hour or two in the sun.


Where we enjoyed lunch on the beach...

After a morning of walking and exploring, we usually headed back to the hotel where, because it was a quiet time of year, we more often than not had most of the pool area ourselves. Not sure how this would work in peak season, as the pool area is quite small, but the loungers were so comfortable you couldn't help but relax the minute you sank into them! Had 3 gorgeously tranquil afternoons just lying there, listening to music and scribbling down notes for another Lone Riders book!


Pool area at the Santa Ponsa Pins
After dinner in the hotel, with the most reasonably priced bottles of house wine I've ever seen (6 Euros 90), we'd usually head into town for an evening stroll and a couple of beers - despite my fears it would be expensive out there, it isn't. There are loads of deals on drinks and food in most of the bars and restaurants so we spent a lot less than we thought we would.

We usually sat in a little bar across the street from a more, shall we say, bar that was aimed more at the younger generation, watching the goings-on from a safe distance. But on our last night, seeing as there was a lack of hen parties that evening, and the fact Leicester were playing Chelsea on the big screen and that match was of significance to my Sunderland-supporting hubby, we actually gave that bar a go. And had the best night! The young lads and lasses who worked there were good fun, the drinks were cheap, and although it probably wasn't wise to down all 3 vodka shots in such quick succession, (they were free - would've been rude not to) I felt about twenty-five again! And on the subject of those vodka shots, the apple sour one tasted like shampoo, the caramel one - I could've drank the entire bottle, and the strawberry one was nice, if not a little sweet. Thanks to the lovely Irish girl who sneaked a couple of extra freebies over to us, even if they did contribute to my first hangover in a long time!

Me and hubby - a Santa Ponsa selfie!

All in all, it was the perfect little break - quiet, relaxing, and the sun came out on more than a few occasions! It was just what we needed. And like I said before, the Santa Ponsa Pins hotel had a lot to do with that. When we booked it it was a 2* - and we've never done 2* before, so we were a little apprehensive, even though the reviews it got were all good. But once we got there it seemed to have gained a well-deserved extra star, and it really did exceed all expectations. It isn't a hotel geared towards families - the food choice probably wouldn't suit children, and there's no entertainment in the evenings, unless you counted the amusing if not slightly stomach-turning public displays of affection we witnessed between a German couple staying there; not sure there was any need to feel her arse up by the salad buffet... But, if it's a small, quiet, clean, comfortable (the beds were amazing!!) and friendly hotel you're after, then I can't recommend the Santa Ponsa Pins hotel enough - even if you do have this, what I dubbed the "eyesore" over the road. The Pirates Village.

Pirates Village Resort, Santa Ponsa
Mind you, if you've got little ones then this is probably the hotel for you, but the noise coming from inside it when you walked past made me glad I was going back to my peaceful little haven!

The gorgeous Santa Ponsa
Anyway, it really was the most wonderful short break. And, to avoid another two hour-plus jaunt around the island, we kept to our plan of cancelling the return coach transfer and got a taxi back to the airport for our flight home. That journey from hotel to airport took 20 minutes! 20 minutes!!! Just shows you those coach transfers really do take the scenic rounte - and then some.

Flight back was, again, thankfully on time but it was the poor bloke who sat next to us who made it all the more entertaining. Bless him. He'd had the holiday from hell! Was supposed to be going on the trip with his girlfriend, who split up with him after it was booked and just before they were due to fly out, but he wasn't wasting the holiday. She'd also gone to Magaluf, but they just went separately!! His holiday started off badly when he got off the transfer coach too early, and then had problems trying to find the right hotel at 8am in the morning. He slashed his hand on a toilet roll dispenser (I didn't ask), got so drunk on his final night that he missed his return transfer to the airport and had to race to get a taxi before he missed the flight, and in his rush he left all his bank cards in the hotel. It was also his first time flying, and nervous didn't begin to describe him! And if that wasn't bad enough, he also turned out to be a Sunderland supporter, which started off lengthy duscussions between him and my hubby and meant I couldn't concentrate on my Jackie Collins for the moaning. Still, he was a thoroughly nice young lad.

So, I'm back home now, getting used to the fact I have to cook me own meals again, and trying not to let the post-holiday blues get to me too much. After all, if we can find a deal as good as the one we got for this holiday, we'll be going back for another few days of sun, sea, and more than likely a vodka shot or two. Yeah., I can still party with the best of them... as long as I'm in bed before midnight! ;-) But a huge thanks to all at the Santa Ponsa Pins for a wonderful stay. We'll be back. And I promise, our bar bill will, once again, be as big as Stephen's gin measures!