‘Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas’ is the latest release from one of my favourite authors, the lovely Michelle Betham.
Michelle is guest posting on my blog today to share the inspiration behind this unusual story of self- discovery.
‘There are three things I’ve always wanted to do:-
1. Visit Las Vegas.
2. Ride a Harley Davidson.
3. Get a real big tattoo.
Two out of those three things are still on my “yet-to-do” list, but the third one has been achieved. My left arm now sports a rather large “statement” tattoo – a black ink rose vine that stretches from my wrist to my shoulder. And I love it. It was something I’ve wanted for a long time, and despite being on the wrong side of forty-five now, I truly believe that it’s never too late to do anything, be that get a tattoo, or, in the case of Lana in my new book ‘Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas’, change your life.
Funnily enough, Lana also decides to “ink up”, as part of her rather drastic lifestyle change, but that’s kind of where the coincidences between myself and my character ends. But, writing about Lana and her journey into a whole new world did give me a chance to – albeit in the fictional sense – live out those first two items on my “things I really want to do” list.
Most of the story in ‘Shirley Valentine Goes to Vegas’ takes place in, yes, you’ve probably guessed it by the title, Las Vegas. I have a huge a fascination with that place, and I really, really want to go there some day, so setting a book there was a no-brainer for me. It seemed like the perfect place for Lana to discover that new life she’s been looking for, even if she didn’t go there expecting to find it. Relationships are the last thing on Lana’s mind when she meets super-sexy biker, Eddie, at a tattoo convention in Las Vegas. But the connection is instant. And it throws Lana. Newly divorced after twenty years of marriage she isn’t used to the feelings Eddie stirs up in her, and when he asks her – completely out of the blue, and after only a couple of days of knowing each other – to stay with him in Vegas, she struggles with what she feels she should do, and what she really wants to do. But, you know, Eddie owns two Harleys. And as I can’t get to ride one of those (yet), Lana gets to do it for me… and Eddie shows her there’s more than one way to ride one of those beautiful machines…
She’s having more fun than she’s ever had before with Eddie, living the kind of life she hadn’t even known existed. But sometimes the past can’t always be pushed aside quite as easily as you’d like it to be. Especially when the past comes looking for you…
For me, creating the character of Lana – a woman who, at the age of thirty-nine, has literally walked out on the only world she’s ever known – was quite liberating. And that’s where the whole “Shirley Valentine” comparison comes into it. Just like Lana, she upped and left the only life she’d ever known to try and find a new one. Because it really is never too late to change anything; to go out and get something, or just do some of those things you’ve always wanted to do. If you have dreams, go out and live them.
Writing this book, I got to turn a woman who’d once been stifled, almost, by the life she’d once lived, from corporate wife into tattooed biker babe; she got to go out there and live out her fantasies, and to write about her transition was a blast! But, of course, nothing is ever that simple, and there comes a point when Lana also has to make choices she didn’t think she’d ever have to make…
I guess this is also a story about – to some extent – fate, because I’m also a strong believer that (some) things happen for a reason. And some of the things that happen to Lana… well, you’ll have to read the book to see how it all works out for her. All I know is you only get one life. And, like Lana – like Shirley Valentine – there comes a time when you just have to get out there and live it – the way you want to live it…’
Lana Saunders is on a mission to find the ‘new Lana’, the real Lana. After twenty years spent as a prim and proper businessman’s wife, she’s finally swapped beige cotton for black leather, and cardigans for tattoo sleeves! With the ink only just dry on her divorce papers, she’s ready to live it up in Vegas.
What she doesn’t expect is to meet wickedly sexy biker, Eddie and is shocked when he asks her out. Not only does he send her sex-starved libido into overdrive, but the connection between them is unlike anything she’s ever experienced. So when Eddie asks her to stay with him in Vegas, the desire to fall into this gorgeous man’s bed and stay there forever is too tempting to ignore!
Living with Eddie in Las Vegas is the most fun Lana’s had in years—especially when he shows her that there’s more than one way to ride on a Harley!—but soon she realises she can’t ignore her old life forever, particularly when her ex, Adam shows up determined to win her back!
Michelle Betham is an ex-media technician turned author of hot, edgy, gritty romance, usually involving rock stars, sports stars, and bikers. But not usually all in the same book. Yet. She is both self-published and published through HarperImpulse, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.
Addicted to binge-watching TV dramas she struggles to think of a life before Netflix, loves rock music, tattoos, spicy food, and Keanu Reeves – a crush that’s lasted over twenty years, and one she blames entirely on ‘Point Break’…
Her dream is to ride a Harley. And visit Las Vegas. And be able to eat any amount of chocolate without putting on weight…
She lives in County Durham, north-east England, with her husband and West Highland Terrier, where she can be found most days drinking tea and making up stories.