Monday, 4 May 2015

Guest Post - Michelle Betham on her inspiration for Striker - Harper Impulse Fortnight

Today on Rachel's Random Reads, I hope you will all join me in welcoming the lovely Michelle Betham, author the Striker series, who has written a lovely guest post for us.

Remember Footballers’ Wives? That show used to be my not-so-secret guilty pleasure. Pure escapism. All the glamour, glitz, scandal - I loved it! It never really was about the football though, was it? 

However, I am actually quite a big football fan, as it happens. The sport has always been a big part of my life. My dad used to play football – we’re only talking pub-team level here, though – and me and him spent a good chunk of the 80s as season ticket holders at Newcastle United, which saw me spend a fair few Saturday afternoons (and the odd mid-week evening) sporting that ever-glamorous look of two hats and a nice thick anorak, clutching a plastic cup of Bovril between my gloved hands to keep the cold at bay… yes, I paid money for that experience. 

So, I’m a football fan, but I’m also an author. And I had always wanted to write a novel set against the backdrop of professional football, but in my eyes basing a romance novel around the sport was probably always going to be a risky thing to do. I mean, sometimes all you have to do is mention the word to some women (football, that is, not romance) and their eyes glaze over. But when I decided to write the ‘Striker’ series of books, I knew exactly the kind of books I wanted them to be. Blending my love of Jackie Collins and her own wonderful brand of escapism with the glitz, glamour and scandalous drama that Footballers’ Wives used to throw up week after week when it was on the air, I wanted these books to be fun, sexy and HOT! I even jokingly labelled them “Fifty Shades of Football” at one point, because the kind of action in there isn’t really anything you’re going to see on Match of the Day. It’s more about the sex than the soccer, let’s put it that way. The world of football is just the backdrop.

But I also wanted to create characters that were believable because, for some reason, the world of the professional footballer, and the people who share their lives, has always fascinated me. So to be told in a review, by someone who works within the world of football, that I have the character of fictional footballer Ryan Fisher just right, that was good to hear. Because Ryan really is your stereotypical footballer – a bad boy with attitude; a player in every sense of the word. He’s hot, handsome, talented, with a slightly over-inflated ego. But after reading a book called ‘I am the Secret Footballer’ – written by a top-flight player, and a book that lifted the lid on his life within the world of football – I realised that nothing I made Ryan do would be far fetched. That book was invaluable research for me, not to mention a real eye-opener as far as what life as a footballer can be like. It certainly isn’t all glamour, believe me.

But for me, writing these books was a labour of love. I even got to look around a real-life football stadium as part of my research. Sunderland AFC were kind enough to give me a little tour of the Stadium of Light, including the dressing rooms – which were all devoid of footballers, unfortunately, although I have been in a dressing room that was full of them, once, at Everton’s ground, Goodison Park, back in the 1980s. I can still remember talking to Gary Lineker when he was wearing nothing but a towel… anyway, where was I? Oh yes. My personal tour of Sunderland’s stadium. I also got to go into the manager’s office, have a look around the Players’ and Press Lounges, go pitch side, and thanks to that visit I got more information than I could ever possibly have gathered just through Googling alone. I got the feel of a real-life football club; I got to hear how things worked and just what goes on during match days, which turned out to be an invaluable insight when it came to writing the ‘Striker’ books. 

So, just what are the ‘Striker’ books all about, then? Well, let’s see… hot footballers, sexy sports reporters, a manager that makes Jose Mourinho look dull and boring… mix all of that with a bit of glamour, a fair dose of scandal, sprinkle it with some pretty racy scenes, and you’ve got ‘Striker’. Inspired by my love of football, and a show that epitomised glamorous, escapist TV. So, are you ready to meet Ryan Fisher? Because now, it’s time to play – dirty…

About Michelle Betham

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.

Website -
Facebook Author Page -
Twitter - @michellebetham
Blog -
Amazon Page where you can purchase all of Michelle's books

Thank you so much Michelle for an interesting insight into the Striker series. Come back tomorrow for review of Striker and a giveaway, and then on Wednesday I will be posting reviews for Extra Time and Final Score. Make sure you check them all out.


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Rachel! The post looks fabulous!! :-)

    1. Your welcome Michelle, and it was my pleasure. Having read your post before starting to read the trilogy it made me even more keen to jump in and start devouring Amber and Ryan's world.


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