Friday, 30 May 2014

Teaser time! A little peek at my rock star romance work-in-progress...

As I get ready for the re-release of my sexy soccer romance Striker, I thought I'd take a little break from working on the promo for that to let you have just a little look at what I'm working on right now. Some of you will probably know it's a rock star romance trilogy, and some of you will be aware that the heat level has been turned up somewhat on these books, which is why I'm not going to post all of Chapter 2 in this teaser. I was going to, but it does start to get really hot after this little taster ends, and I wasn't sure everyone was going to appreciate that. Plus, my dad sometimes stumbles across this blog. Just the thought of him reading the bits I've decided not to post makes me feel quite ill...

Anyway, for those of you who are keen to find out just what, and who, this new (and as yet untitled) set of books is all about, check out Chapter 1 and most of Chapter 2 as a little introduction… And remember, this is all first draft and unedited, so please ignore any typos, etc…

Oh, and also be aware that there is bad language and a little bit (??!!?) of an adult theme contained in this teaser. You have been warned... and it could have been worse... ;-)

Chapter 1

Loud music pounded out from concealed speakers, the dark, dimly-lit bar vibrating to the thumping beat of heavy rock music. The heat was verging on overpowering, despite the air-conditioning turned up as high as it would go, and even though she was wearing next to nothing, the feel of cool steel beneath her fingers was still more than welcome.
She closed her eyes as she leaned back against the thick metal pole, gripping it loosely as she slid down, her legs slowly opening, her arms still up above her head, that thumping beat washing over her as she lost herself in the music.
Knowing that all those eyes were on  her was something of a turn-on, and as she stood up, wrapping her legs around that pole, clinging on tight as she threw herself up onto it, she felt that familiar rush flood over her, her skin breaking out in a million goose bumps. The music seemed to be getting louder, the beat heavier as she twisted down the pole, gripping it with thighs so hard she knew most of the men in that bar would kill to get between them. But they never would. She would never go there.
Lowering herself further down that pole, she finally felt the floor beneath her, placing one spike-heeled boot down onto the dark surface, throwing back her head as she lapped up every second of the attention aimed at her. Practically every man in the room was watching only her, she knew that. She’d worked hard to make sure that was the way it was. She wanted the power, and she had it – in spades.
Falling to her knees she knelt up, her eyes quickly scanning the crowded bar – a place she’d come to know as home now. From the well-groomed men in suits that had probably told their wives they were talking business at some Japanese restaurant, to the tattooed biker bad boys that always outnumbered the former; right now they were all there to watch her. All there to see what she had to offer them, even though very few would ever get close to her in that way. That wasn’t what she was there for, although touching wasn’t altogether frowned upon. It just had to be at her discretion. If she wanted it, she’d let them know, and from that point it was game on. Whatever game it was she chose to play. This once-shy and reserved young English girl who’d now made Las Vegas her home wasn’t the same person who’d turned up in this fantasy town just a few months ago. She was someone completely different. Someone she needed to be. 
With one swift flick of her hand she removed her black strapless bra, flinging it aside, her hands on those rock-hard thighs, her back arched slightly so her breasts were pushed right out. She felt so powerful right now. She had every man in that room right where she wanted them, and it was the most incredible feeling.
Staring out into the crowd once more – which wasn’t something she made a habit of, if truth be told – her eyes locked onto those of a particularly hot, slightly older man in dark pants and a white shirt, the sleeves of which were rolled up to his elbows, exposing his tanned, heavily tattooed forearms. He was a kind of contradiction, in a way – somewhat smartly dressed, yet those tattoos told her there was probably another side to him, and she always found that exciting. Predictability wasn’t her thing. She liked the danger and thrill that came with spontaneity.
She held his gaze for probably a second or two longer than she should have done,
but his stare was setting every nerve-ending in her body on red alert, and it wasn’t something she was in a hurry to let go of. But she had to. She wasn’t doing a private show here. But as she stood up and turned around, burying her fingers in her mane of long dark curls, the look she threw over her shoulder as she strutted off the stage was just for him. And it was only when she was safely back in the dressing room that she realised his eyes had constantly been on hers – they hadn’t fixed on her breasts or stared longingly at her thighs in the hope that the heaven that lay between them would be exposed. He’d looked at her. And that in itself was enough to send a shiver of raw excitement shooting right through her.
She smiled to herself as she grabbed a robe from the back of the dressing room door, the adrenalin still coursing through her veins. She loved what she did. She loved messing with men’s heads. She loved playing games. Because she always won.


Seth Carter rubbed a hand along the back of his neck, letting out a long, almost drawn out breath. He wasn’t a stranger to this private club tucked away amidst the bright lights and huge hotels of the famous Las Vegas Strip, but sometimes these girls had a habit of hitting you right in the solar plexus when you least expected it. It was almost as though they could sense the vulnerability, and take advantage of that without even realising they were doing it.
‘Are we staying here all freakin’ night?’
Seth stood up, slipping his hands into his pockets as he turned around, raising a questioning eyebrow at the scowling young man in front of him. ‘You telling me you don’t like it here?’
‘I frigging love it here, Jesus! It’s like all my fucking Christmases have come at once, but I’m wrecked, man! That was one kick-ass set we played tonight, and all I’m ready for now is a few beers over at Clay’s and some mindless sex with any pretty face that wants it. Then I’m gonna sleep for two days.’
Seth raised that eyebrow again, a slight smirk on his face. ‘So, you’re banking on there definitely being a pretty face that wants you, huh, Cal?’
Cal looked at Seth as though he’d just said something completely ridiculous, laughing an almost disbelieving laugh as he drained the last of his beer from the bottle before tossing it aside. He was a rock star. He could get away with that.
‘I’m gonna round up the rest of the band. You coming?’
Seth quickly looked behind him, as if he still expected her to be there on the stage. ‘I’ll meet you over there.’ He turned back to face Cal. ‘Clay’s, right?’
Cal nodded before turning around and making his way back over to the bar.
Seth bowed his head and ran his hand along the back of his neck again. He really needed to sleep. The past few weeks had been crazy, and all of a sudden it felt as if everything was catching up with him. Maybe he was getting too old for this shit. Hell, who was he kidding? He was never going to be too old for this shit. This shit was in his blood, always had been. Cal Connor may be the rock star right now, but Seth knew exactly what it was like to stand in those biker boots.

Chapter 2

Seth Carter was one of the biggest names in rock. With a deep, gravel-toned voice, and the kind of dark, brooding good looks that had won him a fan base to outnumber any of his rivals back in the day, he’d sold millions of records all over the world, played to sell-out crowds at gigs and festivals in so many countries he couldn’t even remember, and had groupies falling at his feet wherever he went. Some of which he’d taken advantage of, of course he had! He’d been a fucking rock star, for Christ’s sake! And you didn’t turn that kind of shit down when it was put right there on a plate for you.
But all of that had come to an end when, in a stupid spur-of-the-moment action, he’d married one of those groupies. A beautiful blonde with incredible tits and a smile that could stop traffic, she’d turned out to be one huge mistake. And people had told him that at the time but he never had been one to take advice from anybody. That ill-fated and short-lived marriage had ended after just seven weeks, when Seth had realised he really didn’t want to leave all that stereotypical rock star behaviour behind. Because she did. The second that ring had gone on her finger she’d wanted him to settle down, give her babies; move into a condo in Miami and live the quiet family life. Fuck that!
He’d given her enough money to set her up for life, kissed her goodbye, and gone back out on the road, living life to excess for a few more years with back-to-back sold-out tours and albums that wouldn’t stop selling. He was a rock god, an idol. He could command a stage like nobody else, and he loved every second of being out there.
But once he’d hit his late thirties he’d grown more than a little tired of the constant touring. He’d wanted to go out on a high, and with a run of farewell gigs that had sold out in minutes, he’d said goodbye to being in the limelight, but not to the industry as a whole. He couldn’t leave that behind, no matter how hard he tried. He loved the world he’d lived in for so long way too much to tear himself away from it forever.
So he’d set up his own record label, made it his mission to discover new rock stars out there that may never find that lucky break that was needed to get past all the TV talent show dross that seemed to have a stranglehold on the music scene these days.
Now, at the age of forty-five, he was a respected record company owner and rock band manager. And even though age had only made him sexier – those dark, brooding looks had just got edgier – and the women showed no signs of leaving him alone, he’d never remarried. Why would he? Seth Carter had got burned once, he had no intention of letting that happen again, not when he was quite happy to continue playing the field as long as there were women out there who wanted him. And they wanted him. They made no secret of that. With dark brown hair that was just long enough to rest on the back of his collar, tinged with just the tiniest hint of grey around the temples – the only sign that he was heading towards middle-age – constant stubble on a strong jaw line, a myriad of tattoos covering both arms, shoulders and chest, and the deepest, darkest eyes that were responsible for reeling in all those women over all those years, Seth was too handsome for his own good. And he knew he was still one damn lucky bastard.


Cal leaned back against the bar in Clay’s swigging from a bottle of cold beer as he looked out around him. The music was loud, the bar was crowded, and he was in his own kind of heaven as his eyes locked onto those of a pretty redhead over the other side of the room. He threw her a smile that, basically, told her she could have him, if she wanted him. And why wouldn’t she? They all wanted him. To spend a night with Cal Connor was like hitting the jackpot, and there’d certainly been some winners over the last few weeks as this tour had wound its way across the US before finally landing here in Vegas for four nights of wild excess and shows that had rocked like no others. That’s what this town did to people. It got inside you and made you crazy. The drugs had nothing to do with it. The alcohol merely heightened everything. It was Vegas that did it for him. He’d been born and brought up here before his family had moved to California just after he’d started High School. But it had never left him. This place. It was where his heart was. Where he always felt his most comfortable. And even though L.A. was his base now, Vegas would always be his home.
Cal Connor was twenty-six-years-old, a toned, tanned and far-too-hot rock band front man. With messed-up short dark hair that looked like it had never seen a comb in months, and the brightest of blue eyes, everything about him screamed rock star. Sleeve tattoos adorned his arms, and there was barely an inch of visible skin left on his upper half, even his jaw sported the heaviest of stubble. Yeah, he was hot, and he knew it. He had way too much attitude, of course, and the assumption that he was the greatest thing ever to have walked the earth surrounded him constantly, but it hadn’t stopped Seth Carter from seeing his undeniable talent and signing Cal’s band Twelve Bore Down to his record label. In fact, he’d shown so much faith in Cal and the band that he’d deemed them important enough to manage them himself, which, as anyone in the rock world knew, meant that Seth thought they were going somewhere. And he hadn’t been wrong. Twelve Bore Down were one of the biggest rock bands in the world right now, bringing real music back to a whole audience of people who were tired of boy bands and manufactured pop. They were killing it wherever they went, as this latest tour had proved, and Cal was on top of the frigging world. Still on a high after a crazy final gig and two hours spent in one of Vegas’ most elite private lap dancing bars, where the women showed you everything but gave you fuck all – unless you put in a specific request, and even then there was no guarantee. But Cal didn’t like asking for anything. He didn’t need to. It was all given to him, whatever he wanted. So he’d been quite happy to do nothing but look at the perfect tits and rock hard thighs as they’d gyrated just metres away from him. They were there to start the party. And here was where it really got going.
He took another swig of beer and slammed the empty bottle down on the counter behind him, smiling as Little-Miss-Redhead sauntered over to him, staring at him with wide eyes and a pout on her pretty face that told Cal that mouth was going to work its own kind of magic on him before this night was done. He fucking loved his life!

©Michelle Betham 2014


So there we go. Just a tiny little, relatively PG-rated teaser. Any more teasers may have to carry a warning beforehand, but, that aside, I would love to know what you think. Am I on the right track with this one?

Anyway, watch this space for more updates as to how this new trilogy is coming along - almost at the halfway point of book #1 now - and for more teasers, of course. I really do think you're gonna like Seth Carter... I know I do...

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

What a difference a year makes...

This time last year I was a bit fed up. I was stuck in a rut with no idea as to how to get out of it, my writing was ticking along but my enthusiasm was a little low given that sales were dipping and indie authors were finding it harder and harder to get their books recognised; and I hadn't yet discovered Justified and the obvious delights of Timothy Olyphant in that Stetson... 

I'd submitted stuff to publishers but no word was forthcoming, so I was fast becoming resigned to the fact that my dream would never happen. Well, the realistic dream of a publisher signing me, that is. I always knew that dream about Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper turning up together to whisk me off to a paradise island for two weeks of sun, sea and debauchery was never really gonna happen. It might find its way into a future novel at some point, though...

Anyway, this time last year I wasn't feeling all that positive. Fast forward twelve months, however, and things have changed a bit. That publisher I'd submitted my self-published sexy soccer romance Striker to back in March 2013 - the fabulous HarperImpulse - have signed me on a three book deal, I've been down to London to meet some of the fabulous HarperImpulse team, and I actually got to visit the HarperCollins HQ! For someone like me, whose only (realistic) dream has been to write books, that was something I'll  never forget. 

And now, with one book already released through HarperImpulse (my Christmas novella The First Christmas Without You), I'm just over a week away from the re-release of Striker - and only 5 weeks away from the second installment in the trilogy, Extra Time's re-publication. And I'm so excited about that, because those Striker books are my babies. They're the books that made me realise the kind of writer I wanted to be. They were the books that told me I'd finally found my feet as an author. And a publisher actually thought they were good enough to sign! Some days I still can't believe it happened, but as I get ready to throw myself into the promo for Striker, and capitalise on the forthcoming World Cup football fever that's going to hit any day now, I know that these books are getting a new lease of life I could only have dreamed of this time last year. And the final book in the trilogy - Final Score - is also going to be released through HarperImpulse, hopefully some time in August, which I'm even more excited about, because that book was never self-published. It'll be the first time anyone's ever read it, and for all those who've already read Striker and Extra Time and have been waiting to see how this trilogy all ends, I thank you so much for your patience. It really shouldn't be too long now.

So, with brand new and FABULOUS covers, I can't wait to see what happens when the Striker series is back out there. And with a busy summer ahead for me, it couldn't be more different to how I was feeling this time last year. Because this time last year I still had doubts about the kind of books I should be writing. I was still, I suppose, in that frame of mind - because of the way things seemed to be going - that led me towards writing the kind of things I assumed people wanted to read. I was still trying so hard to conform and follow whatever trend was out there, when that's the worst thing you can do as a writer. If you don't write from the heart, then you fail, in my opinion. 

And whilst having a publisher isn't for everyone - and there was a time when it wasn't for me, which is why I stopped submitting for a while - since I signed with HarperImpulse I've found that focus I badly needed to find. It's made me think differently, write differently; it's given me that metaphorical kick up the arse I so badly needed. 

So, what kind of books do I want to write? Well, like I said before, the Striker series of books are a good example of where my writing future lies - they're not sweet romances by any stretch of the imagination. And I'm banning my mother from going anywhere near them because if she read some of the things Ryan Fisher gets up to, she'd have a fit! But that's the kind of romance I write. Tough, edgy, not always pretty; sexy, hot and steamy. In fact, my latest WIP - a brand new rock star romance trilogy - is so steamy I'm thinking of publishing it under a completely different name. 

All I know is, compared to this time last year, I now feel as if I can truly say I know what I'm doing. And I know where I'm heading. There are still going to be days when it all feels like crap; days when none of it feels like its working, because we all get days like that. It's called life. But the difference this time is I have focus. When those crappy days pass I can pick myself up and get back on with what I know is working for me. And because it's taken me a little bit of time to properly find my writing feet, I'm still building an audience. But nobody said this journey would be easy, and I'm certainly finding out that it's anything but easy. But I wouldn't change it for the world now. None of it. I've learnt so much over the past few years, and I'm continuing to learn now. It's hard, there's no doubt about that. But I strongly believe that patience wins out. Never give up on a dream, no matter how out of reach you think it might be. I was ready to do that this time last year, and looking back, I'm so glad I didn't... there's a lot more to come from me. A lot more...

Both 'Striker' and 'Extra Time' are available to pre-order now! 

Striker -
Extra Time -

And watch this space for news on 'Final Score', the third installment of the Striker trilogy... And remember, this summer, it's time to play dirty... 

Friday, 16 May 2014

The Rock Star Romance dilemma...

I'm having a little bit of a dilemma with my latest work-in-progress. Why? Well, I've made no secret of the fact I wanted to, at some point, write another book set within the world of rock bands and rock stars because, and this is something else I've never made a secret of, I have a bit of a thing for tattooed biker bad-boys. 
So, with the 'Striker' books finished and awaiting publication - although edits for two of them still need to be done - I thought I'd make a start on a brand new series of books. A rock star romance series.

And I don't know about other authors out there, but that feeling you get when you know you've cracked the storyline; when the characters suddenly start to become real. That feeling is just amazing! And I felt it this week. The story is writing itself now, and I just love it when that happens because, to me, it means this book is working. It's found its feet. So I have no concern over the story, characters, or where this series of books is going. I know exactly where they're going.

However, what I am concerned with is whether or not these books are a good fit for my publisher. Because this book I'm working on now - the first book in the series - is probably the hottest, most edgy book I will have written to date. Already I've written scenes in it that make Chapter 13 of (the soon-to-be-released) 'Final Score' look like an Enid Blyton novel! And it certainly isn't intentional, it's just the way the story is flowing. And then we have the subject matter - maybe it's just a little too edgy? We're talking lap-dancing clubs, sex-fuelled fairy tales; and the HOTTEST rock stars I've ever created! Oh, I haven't quite strayed into full-on erotica just yet, but it's close. Probably the closest I've come to making that leap. But what I'm writing now is not a "pretty" romance, but then, that's not the type of romance I write now anyway. But there's a slightly darker side to this one. It's risky, in parts, but I'm beginning to think that the kind of stuff I write depends very much on the mood I'm in at the time. And, right now, I'm very much in a "let's just frigging do this" mood. Which is not conducive to "pretty" romance. There are no hearts and flowers in this book, no romantic white weddings, candlelit dinners or love notes left stuck to the fridge. But there are bikes and bad boys, tattoos, music festivals, rock concerts... leather, chains, and lots and lots of sex! I wouldn't let my mother read this book, let's put it that way... 

If you're looking for a hint as to what my latest WIP is involving, here it is...

But I really don't want to sanitise any of it in any way. I don't want to "clean" it up or make it that little bit more palatable, because that would impede on everything the story is about. Because the story's incredibly important. There are reasons why everything happens. There are reasons why the characters do the things they do, and to sanitise their actions or tone them down in any way would take too much away from the story. I've already toned down the first couple of chapters because I felt, in some way, that too much too soon may be a stumbling block, but that's as much as I'm willing to do. And I might change it back yet. But what I'm trying to say is, already theses characters are becoming real to me, they're becoming a part of me, so that means I need to be true to them, and their story.

So, will I be sending this series of books to my publisher? I really don't know. Maybe not. Maybe I need to speak to them first and see what they think, but if these books don't get sent to them, they'll be self-published by me. Somehow they'll get out there. There are other books I can send to my publisher. Books that aren't, maybe, quite so edgy. Quite so dark. Unless dark and edgy's what they're looking for...

Anyway, I guess I just needed to say all that out loud, because it's been on my mind as work on this book progresses. It is what it is. It's a rock star romance with a hell of a lot of attitude. Parts of it might shock, other parts of it might just make you want to get closer to the gorgeous Seth Carter, no matter what his persuasions. ;) It's really a dark, Cinderella-type story, if you like. A rock and roll fairy tale. After all, no matter what walk of life we come from, doesn't every girl secretly want their very own Prince Charming? No matter what shape or form he might take.

And if you like that kind of thing, then you might just like this new series of books from me. But how they get published is something I still have to think about...

Friday, 9 May 2014

Fantasy Cast Friday - revisited... 'Offside!' by Jamie Tucker Dougan

Today I'm really happy to be hosting what I'm calling a Fantasy Cast Friday revisited for my fabulous friend and fellow author Jamie Tucker Dougan

A few months back he released his sexy soccer-themed romance Offside!, but since then it's had a bit of a make-over, a cover change, and it's just been re-published as full-length novel, rather than the novella it originally was. And to celebrate the book's re-release Jamie has kindly done a slightly re-vamped Fantasy Cast list for the book. Want to find out more? Read on...


Author Bio

Jamie Tucker Dougan is a 40something indie author and blogger from East Ayrshire in Scotland. He enjoys blogging about random things and writing short stories with an adult romantic theme.

His first short story, Grande Plage, was released in July 2012 and reached number 1 in the Amazon DE Free Download chart in August 2012. It was followed soon after by his second short story, Always Running Away which included the little bonus story, A Bus Journey.

In September 2012, Jamie released The Rubicon Trail, a fictionalisation of a real life adventure in America. It has been a Top 5 best seller in its category.

Recently, he released Offside!: Not Everyone Plays By The Rules. Originally, it was the first in a novella series and was released as such before Christmas 2013. But like a few writers, Jamie wasn’t happy with the story and how he had written it. So he rewrote it and republished it recently as the first novel in the Shane Henderson Diaries Series.

Away from writing, Jamie works in a busy car & truck dealership in his home town and is a loving husband to his partner of 22 years and loving dad to his two young sons. He enjoys watching football, motor racing and walking.

Book Blurb - Offside!: Not Everyone Plays By The Rules

"When I was 12 years-old, I dreamed of playing for a football team. The football team I supported. The team my uncle, Sean Quillen, played for. That team was Milton Keynes Rangers. Never in my wildest dream did I think that two months shy of my 17th birthday I’d score the winning goal on my debut for that team. That's truly the stuff of dreams. 
 If it hadn’t been for the belief and 
encouragement of my best friend and her dad, that dream would never have come true. 

But dreams are not all good. There are good bits and bad bits. 

I’m Shane Henderson, I’m a professional footballer. These are my diaries, my thoughts, and conversations. My daily life as I live my dream, the good bits and the bad bits."

Offside!: Not Everyone Plays By The Rules is the first novel in the Shane Henderson Diaries series that follows the life of fictional footballer Shane Henderson and his love of Milton Keynes Rangers, the team he plays for during most of his career. Follow the series as he tells of his love for that team. The love he has for Mia, his best friend... with benefits. The love for his wife who doesn't deserve his love. And how he rekindles the relationship with his older brother despite his brother doing something that almost breaks Shanes' heart. And watch as Shane slowly realises who his heart really belongs to and wrestles with his feelings hoping he makes the right choice. 

"It’s a saucy romance set in the world of football"


Fantasy Cast List

Shane Henderson  

Every story has a main character. The main character in Offside! is Shane Henderson, a sexy, good looking but shy and quiet professional footballer in his early 30′s. Since his teens, he dreamed of being a footballer, just like his dad, brother and uncle. But his footballing abilities were overlooked by his parents, who had little time for him when he was young.

It’s not until his family move to another country that his abilities are noticed by the father of his new best friend that he begins to follow his dream.

Shane leaves school and gains a place at the footballing academy of his favourite team, Milton Keynes Rangers. Almost a year later, he makes his professional début. Over the next 12 years at MKR, his footballing abilities shine and he become club captain. On a stormy night in Paris one year, he becomes a club legend when his goals win his beloved club the Champions League against the odds.
A change of ownership at MKR forces Shane to leave the club he loves and join local rivals Daventry United.
He is not a typical professional footballer though, preferring a quiet life at home rather than fast cars, faster women, nightclubs, race tracks and casinos. So it probably wasn’t a good idea to fall in love and marry a fame hungry, attention seeking ex-Page 3 model. But his wife is not the only love in his life, there’s the love for Mia Rodrigues, his best friend from his teens who shared the same dream. But it’s not the only thing they share...
The visual muse for Shane is Dan Ewing, best known for playing his role as Heath Braxton in Home & Away.

Mia Rodrigues 

Mia Rodrigues, the pin-up girl of womens’ soccer. Beautiful, talented and a sensible head on her shoulders, so it’s no wonder that away from the football field she is also a successful model, part-time lawyer and owner of a successful sports and entertainment management company.

The only daughter of Brazilian World Cup winner Pepe, football has always been in her blood. Her dream of being a top player came true when she headed for the USA at 18 years old. That was after being spotted by a daily tabloid newspaper and her modelling career taking off. But all she wanted to do back then was play football. Her footballing career was cut short though in her late 20′s. So she moved into coaching and eventually management, becoming the first female manager of an MLS team in America. She has her sights set on a bigger league though… The Premiership.

Mia is also Shane Henderson’s best friend, having known each other since their teens. But their relationship goes deeper than just friendship. They have feelings for each other and have in the past, crossed that line where friendship becomes something else. Will the paths of their lives cross again?
The visual muse and inspiration for Mia is model/actress/entrepreneur/TV presenter Kelly Brook.

Lewis Henderson 

Every story needs a bad guy. The bad guy in Offside! is Shane’s big brother, Lewis. But is he really the bad guy?

Like Shane, Lewis is also a professional footballer. Nearing the end of a career mostly spent playing in Italy, he moves to Shane’s former club on loan. Always the blue eyed boy to his mother, he has an estranged relationship with his little brother. But in a strange sort of way way, he cares for his younger sibling which is why he does something that breaks his brother’s heart.

The visual muse for Lewis is Emmerdale’s lovable rogue Cain Dingle played by Jeff Hordley. Cain is a bad boy but you just can’t help liking that bad boy. Just like Lewis when you realise why he did what he does to his little brother.

April Flowers

April Flowers, new wife of Offside!’s main character Shane Henderson. A woman he loves very much but a woman with a secret… a few secrets. The former Page 3 model turned TV sports reporter and lads’ mag pin-up girl is not as sweet and innocent as she appears.

She’s an attention seeking drama queen who loves the limelight. Very much a WAG but not the kind of WAG happy shopping in the best shops and eating in the best restaurants.  She’s the opposite of Shane, who shuns attention and tries to live a quiet life away from the media spotlight. April attracts the media. In Offside! though, she’ll wish she hadn’t.

Revelations that April has been playing “offside” set the scene and as the series progresses, we’ll find that not everybody is playing by the rules and April is not the only character playing “offside”.

The visual muse for April is former Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallet. Like Roxanne’s character was in Emmerdale, April looks sweet and innocent but is also a bit of a man eater and heart breaker.

Sam Black 

Sam is the goalkeeper at MKR and Shane’s former teammate. They are also best mates having joined Milton Keynes Rangers’ Youth Academy together. Sam is also Mia Rodrigues’ cousin. But that doesn’t stop Shane often confiding his feelings for Mia in Sam.
Sam also has a big dislike for April, and often tells Shane his opinion of her.

I’ve cast Home & Away star Steve Peacocke who plays Darryl ‘Brax’ Braxton. Not because they are similar characters but because when I wrote the first line in Offside! mentioning Sam, Home & Away was on TV and Brax was on the screen.

Shelby Cooper 

Shelby is a familiar face for Shane when he signs for Daventry United, their paths having crossed before one night a few years previous. Shelby Cooper is the beautiful club physiotherapist at Daventry United. She’s also girlfriend of United’s manager Dario de Luccio. That doesn't stop her being flirty with the players at United, Shane especially.

I’ve cast Emmerdale’s Natalie Anderson as Shelby. She’s the ideal choice to play Shelby, long dark hair, flirty nature but loyal to the person she cares about most.

Other characters from the Offside! Series, some minor and some yet to be introduced...

Dario de Luccio 

Daventry United manager. He has a minor part in Offside! but will have a major impact on what’s going on in the second book in the series. I’ve cast a real life former footballer as Dario – former Rangers and Blackburn Rovers player Lorenzo Amoruso.

Chip Agassi 

 Mia’s race car driving husband. He’ll make his début in the second book in the Shane Henderson Diary series. I’ve cast Coronation Street bad boy Marc Baylis (Rob Donovan) as Chip.

Dale McKechnie

Shane’s ex-girlfriend from his schooldays and early part of his career. Mentioned in the first book but makes her proper début in the second book. I’ve cast another Coronation Street star as Dale – Samia Ghadie who plays Maria Connor. 

There are more characters I could cast but the ones I’ve listed here are characters that have visual muses, faces I picture in my mind when I’m writing the Shane Henderson Diaries Series.

Contact Info

Twitter - @JamieTDougan

'Offside!' is available to download HERE.

And you can check out all of Jamie's books over on Amazon -

Thank you for a brilliant Fantasy Cast, Jamie! Wishing you loads of success with the re-release of Offside! And I can't wait for the next book in the series!