Saturday, July 6, 2013

Shameless Ambition

Don’t you just love weekends? Time to slow the pace a little, relax in the tub with an ebook? 

Caroline and I often end up having a row on Friday night, the accumulated tension of the working week boiling up into a tornado of misunderstanding. But by Saturday morning, everything’s fine again. We both have a large capacity for forgiveness, which is just as well after the scrapes Caroline got into when setting up a new office for her company in Germany.

It was a timely story, an insight into a behind the scenes world of politics and finance. I just had to collect the evidence and write it down. A small indiscretion with work colleagues in Spain had brought my wife to the attention of Melody Bigger, former chief executive of a medical instruments company and part-time Madame. Melody had an old score to settle with a banker, Von Wolfswinkle. She tricked Caroline into attending Wolfswinkle’s weekend sex parties, a private relaxation for hard working financiers and politicians. 

It was quite an education for Caroline, but understandably she was reluctant to give me the full details of her initiation into the Inner Circle. In the end I had to rescue her from a sex club in Copenhagen. I’m a lawyer, and it was satisfying to do some investigative work to uncover the honeytrap plot. That Melody Bigger is, as you Americans say, ‘a piece of work’.

People ask ‘How did you come up with the story?’ The plot was taken from life and marriage gave me the character of Caroline. The book gives some insight of the pressures many of us face in trying to balance the competing demands of work and marriage. But if you can laugh while chaos threatens to derail your life, then you’ll probably enjoy Shameless Ambition. It was published last month by the excellent crew at Steam eReads and is available in ebook formats, for example on Amazon.

For the latest twists and turns and a cleaned up version of events, you can visit my blog at:

And any of you who would like to become an angel and send supportive comments to help me through my jealous moments, my website has an email address to contact me directly:

I am grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the JRS blog. I have learnt a lot from reading other writers discuss the Romantic Suspense genre. When I began writing I didn’t like the idea of being pigeon-holed into a genre or sub-genre. How many times do you read a ‘blurb’ after finishing a book and think, ‘no, that’s not the book I read?’

Perhaps I also wondered about the world ‘romantic’ in relation to the gritty world we experience and which I try to be true to. But romance is story, and it is all for love, even though sometimes we misread the signals. A genre label is a helpful signpost, giving the potential reader a shortcut or a health warning – ‘may contain sexy scenes.’ 

In the end, all that matters is good writing. Good writing makes good reading. There is something real, an underlying truth, in well written fantasy, however outrageous it may seem; and there’s something wonderful and fantastic in the real things that happen in our lives. That’s why we all have stories to tell.

Robert Fanshaw

Extract from Shameless Ambition

She would have to expect a hard time from Robert and that it would take a long time to win back his trust. She could leave out Alistair and just stick to the stuff that was in Sid’s dossier. There was no point in making things worse than they already were. 
She imagined him asking if she had enjoyed it, the sex with Clive? A policy of total honesty might be hard to sustain. She tried out different answers to see how they sounded. How about: ‘It felt different having sex outside. We should try it. Clive’s a smooth talking bastard but he does have a nice body and he knows how to seduce a woman and then satisfy her.’ 
No, that would not do. 
‘Robert, it was horrible. I felt terribly guilty even at the time. I was trying to cover my tracks and it was the most awful mistake. I hardly remember anything about it… no, I didn’t notice the size of his penis…’ 
And the sex with Antonia? 
‘I didn’t really think of it as sex. She started licking me and I was too embarrassed to push her away. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings… well, yes, it did feel quite nice. Perhaps we could buy one of those purple monsters and I could demonstrate…’ 
And the stripping – when you refuse to do anything like that for me at home? 
‘I will, I will do it for you at home. I didn’t know I could. I thought I’d look stupid. But all I needed was a bit of encouragement from Antonia. I know it was in front of lots of strangers but the only way I could do it was by imagining you standing there watching me…’ 
The disco ringtone interrupted her imaginary conversation with Robert. Sid’s tone was conciliatory. 
“Melody says its fine for you to have a couple of days back in the UK. She’s found you a flight on Thursday afternoon and booked it through the company. She understands that you’re missing Robert. She says she really appreciates what you’ve done so far and still wants to be able to recommend you for the promotion.” 
“What – you mean you won’t tell Robert about me and Clive? She won’t report my behaviour to Monsaint?” 
“Of course not. See how you feel in a couple of days. She says the door is open.”

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