Today, I welcome Michelle Betham from England to my blog!
First of all, I just want to thank Jan for giving me the opportunity to do a guest spot here on her blog. So, what am I going to talk about? Well, I'm going to talk a little bit about my new book, Bon Voyage, and just what it was that inspired me to write it. Now, although I'm a romance writer, the books I've written kind of fall into two different categories of romance, really; I've written a couple of books that are much more on the sexy, edgy side of romance -- think Jackie Collins with just a hint of Jilly Cooper -- and I've written two books that are very much what I suppose you'd call chick lit, stories that are far more light-hearted. Romantic comedies, if you like. And Bon Voyage -- my fourth book -- is definitely a comedy romance!
I got the idea for the book by taking two of my favourite things, and working a story around them - my love of cruise holidays, and the fact I'm a huge fan of one of Britain's biggest boy bands (Take That). I wanted to write another fun romance with a holiday theme, and I'd always wondered what it would have been like if I'd ever met one of my favourite pop stars so, taking that premise, and setting the story aboard a cruise ship seemed the perfect idea for a book, and so Bon Voyage was born.
It's a book that, I hope, will not only entertain, but also take people on a journey around the beautiful Mediterranean as these new characters I've created undertake a two-week summer cruise, as I've done on more than a few occasions. So, I used my past knowledge of some of the ports of call I've visited, as well as some of the colourful characters I've met on these holidays, and put all of that into Bon Voyage (with a touch of artistic licence, of course!). Writing the book gave me the opportunity to not only remember and re-live some of the fantastic shore excursions I've experienced, but it also gave me the chance to remember what it was like to be young with a crush on a boy band member!
Blurb for Bon Voyage:
Thirty-something Geordie girl Aimee Anderson has just been dumped by her fiance, Robbie -- on the the night of their engagement party. So, in an attempt to get over both the relationship, and the rather embarrassing way in which it ended, Aimee and her best friend Jemma are going on the holiday of a lifetime which, in their case, is a trip around the Mediterranean on a mid-budget cruise liner. And there's only one thing Aimee's determined to do on this holiday, and that's forget about Robbie and have some fun.
Danny Johnson is one-fifth of the 90's boy band Bon Voyage, and they're about to make a comeback. In the middle of the Mediterranean. On the same cruise ship as Aimee. And Aimee used to love Bon Voyage. Aimee used to love Danny Johnson...
Back in the day, Danny had been the band's "bad boy", and whilst the years haven't damaged his looks in any way, his post-pop-star life is in a bit of a mess. About to be divorced from Newcastle party princess and Z-list celebrity wannabe, Davina Black, and harbouring a secret from the past about the real reason Bon Voyage split up, Danny just isn't sure if being back in a boy band is what he really wants. But one thing he does want is some fun. For the next two weeks, at least.
So, when Aimee finally meets the man of her dreams -- literally -- could they possibly have some fun together? Or is something -- or somebody -- about to stand in the way of Aimee having a holiday to remember?
Bon Voyage is a romantic comedy; a story of boy bands, broken dreams, and love on the ocean wave...
Excerpt for Bon Voyage:
"Can you believe we're about to see Bon Voyage back together after all these years?" Jemma squealed, grabbing Aimee's arm. "It's like being fifteen all over again!"
Aimee couldn't deny a tiny fluttering of anticipation in her stomach as the strains of the bands first ever number one -- We're Here To Party -- started to fill the packed Show Lounge. But she wasn't altogether sure whether those butterflies were because she was about to see her favourite boy band back together and performing after almost sixteen years, or whether it was because she was about to see one of them in particular. Either way, she was feeling unusually emotional. She hoped she wasn't going to cry -- that would just be ridiculous!
Jemma's grip on Aimee's arm got tighter as the dry ice finally started to clear and five figures -- all dressed in black and red -- emerged from the smoke, although Aimee was almost sure that the coughing fit Ross Nelson seemed to be experiencing hadn't meant to happen.
"Oh-my-God!" Jemma squealed again, and Aimee couldn't help but let out a little squeal herself as all five members of Bon Voyage lifted their heads and started singing the track that had catapulted them to stardom all those years ago.
Suddenly, a barrage of screams coming from behind them alerted both Jemma and Aimee to the fact that they obviously weren't alone in being the only fans on the boat and, swinging round in their seats, they noticed two whole rows of pushed-together tables to their left filled with about twenty or so hysterical women of all ages wearing Bon Voyage T-shirts circa 1993 and singing along loudly to the words of the song.
Aimee stared at Jemma, then they both burst out laughing. Looked like a fan club had got wind of this reunion and booked itself one hell of a holiday.
"We may just have some competition," Aimee whispered to Jemma, their eyes now back on the band as Ross and Frankie attempted (rather unsuccessfully) back flips that were quickly covered up by Danny and Cal, who jumped in front of them as Andy took over lead vocals.
"No chance," Jemma whispered back, her eyes not moving from Cal, who seemed to be wearing exceptionally tight trousers for a man who had to move about quite a bit. "They're no competition for us. They're just weird stalker-types."
"And what were you last night at the bar with Danny?" Aimee hissed, removing Jemma's hand from her arm, which now bore the marks of her friend's manicured fingernails.
"I was being friendly," Jemma smiled. "Now shut up and watch the band, will you? And remember -- you're supposed to be trying to catch Danny Boy's eye."
Aimee sat back in her seat, her eyes -- whether she wanted them to or not -- falling on Danny as he stood to the right of the stage, looking out ahead of him as he sang into his headset, his hips still swivelling the way they'd always done back in the day, that sexy vibe that she'd swooned over so many times in the past still very much there and she felt her stomach do those tiny little flips she'd experienced so often during their live gigs all those years ago. Those old, familiar feelings rushing back as though they'd never gone away. Except, this time, the man she was watching up there on that stage knew exactly who she was. He was real, he wasn't just a poster on her wall anymore.
Buy links for Bon Voyage:
I'm a British writer of both edgy, sexy romance and humorous light-hearted chick lit. In the past I've worked as an accounts clerk, and a Nursery Nurse, but after going back to college to train in the Performing Arts, and then spending many years working as a Media Technician in a University, my husband and I upped sticks in 2004 and moved to the Spanish Canarian island of Tenerife for a couple of years before returning to the UK to settle in County Durham, in the North East of England.
I've been writing for as long as I can remember, but only plucked up the courage to self-publish my work a year ago, and I now have four books out there in the big wide world with many more ideas floating round in my head that I hope will materialise into many more.
I love writing (obviously), discovering other new author's to read, rock music, reality TV and the comedy of Peter Kay. Oh, and chocolate -- of course!
Here's how you can find Michelle:
Blog URL -- http://michellebethamwriter.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook - author page: https://www.facebook.com/michellebetham.romanceauthor
Facebook - main profile page: https://www.facebook.com/michellebetham.author
Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/michellebetham
LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michelle-betham/36/324/587
Thank you for being here today, Michelle! I enjoyed your post and look forward to reading your book, Bon Voyage!