Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Shameless Corruption and the World Cup

How is the World Cup going for you? Disappointed that England were 'out' even before the last game of the group stages? Horrified by Uruguay biting their way through to the last sixteen? Several of the European teams - Spain, Italy, Croatia - have crashed out early, suggesting that conditions do indeed favour the South and Central American teams.

I'm still here in England while Caroline has gone suspiciously quiet in Rio. The last I heard, Bertrand Cottoneau had promised her tickets for the final at the Maracana Stadium in July. But I was worried when she got involved with a shady character called Mr Nim in Singapore, and traveled with him and his entourage, first class, to Brazil. He must have some kind of hold over her. Why otherwise would she have asked me to bring a million dollars in cash with me when I fly to Brazil? This kind of money movement is beyond my competence, so I phoned Cosimo Baldissi for advice:

“Are you all right, Cosimo? Speak up, I can hardly hear you.”
“I had an accident, Roberto, and it hurts if I laugh or shout.”
“Well this is no laughing matter. I’ve had a peculiar message from Caroline. She says she needs a million dollars urgently.”
“Ah. That much?”
“Is that all you’ve got to say? You know something about it? I know she’s been speaking to you and Bertrand. He’s getting me a ticket for the final.”
“Yes, we’ll all be there. It will be like old times.”
“I hope not. I couldn’t bear a repeat of Copenhagen. Come on Cosimo; tell me what’s going on. Is Caroline in trouble?”
“If I tell you, you will be in danger. For Caroline, the danger is a fate worse than death. For you, just death.” I had to stifle a chuckle at the Italian’s amusing exaggerations.
“I don’t think they give the death penalty for illicit currency movements. I’m sure Caroline has a good reason for needing the money. I just need some advice on how to raise it and how to move it to Brazil.”
“How much has Caroline told you? Did she tell you about my accident?”
“No. She told me about meeting you and Bertrand and going to Brazil via Singapore for a financial directors’ conference. Then she had a problem with her bank account and she used mine to send a lot of money to Bertrand. It was six hundred thousand euros. So why does she need a million dollars now? Caroline’s usually tight with money.”
“She’s trying to help Bertrand. He has many problems. He’s not the same man since Francine left him for New York. And he has to deal with that FIFA man, Cleb Fludder, who promises to retire and then stays on to wreak more havoc. Bertrand says he is destroying the beautiful game, and Cleb thinks Bertrand is after his job. He’s right, of course.”
“I’ve known Caroline to be generous, but not with money. And she doesn’t care about football. It must be something else.”
“Do you know about Caroline’s gambling habit?”
“Sorry Cosimo, Caroline doesn’t gamble. She calculates. You wouldn’t believe the grief she gives me when I bet twenty pounds on the Manchester United score.”
“People change when they are exposed to new experiences. She spent a week with Prince Lippi and picked up a taste for the casino. He introduced her to some high rollers. I expect she needs the money to settle a gambling debt.”
“Impossible. If you think that, you don’t know Caroline. It must be something else. But whatever she needs it for, will you help me?”
“Of course, anything for Caroline. What assets do you have?”
“Assets? Loans, more likely. We don’t even have pensions. Everything’s tied up in the house. We put every penny we had into it and then borrowed a lot more.”
“How much is it worth?”
“Caroline says two million, but she likes to talk it up.”
“You must live in a mansion.”
“No, we live in Surrey. House prices around London are crazy.”
“And the mortgage?”
“Nearly a million.”
“There are companies which will buy a house quickly at a discount. I will email you two names that can be trusted a little bit. Sell the house, and I will help with the transfer of funds. We will need a friendly bank with an operation in Brazil. I will speak to Von Wolfswinkle.” (extract from Shameless Corruption)

For more, and for the result of the World Cup final before it even happens, click below:

eBooks by Robert Fanshaw


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Light shines on Shameless Corruption

Boom! The day has come. No, not the day of the World Cup final. Not yet, anyway. The day has come when you can read about my wife's involvement with the football authorities and the World Cup final in Brazil, before the final even happens.

"Before it happens?" you ask. "But that's not possible!"

Yes, before it happens. And that is down to the wonder of predictive fiction. Shameless Corruption is a romance set against the background of the World Cup and the corruption in world football. My wife, Caroline, infiltrates a Far East betting syndicate to help some business colleagues, and loses more than just her money. She is fascinated by the syndicate leader, Mr Nim; and he is convinced she is his lucky redhead. I won't give the game away and tell you who wins the final, but if you want to know before anyone else does, or before it even takes place, go to  or to if you are in America and the rest of the world. Or any ebook supplier you like.

"How does it feel, Mr Fanshaw?"

It feels fantastic. I'm talking about the book publication there, not about the prospect of my wife ending up in a Macau brothel. SteameReads, the epublishers, have done a brilliant job as always on the editing and production, and have come up a with a cover which captures the sultry mood, the Chinese influences, the heat of Singapore and Brazil. It's a special day in the life of an author when their new book is sent out into the world. You must let me know what you think of it, even if you just read the free first section on Amazon. Goodreads, Amazon, blog comments (see below), email via the My Wife Caroline website ; however you want.

"This isn't the first time you've written about your wife's exploits, is it?"

Not the first time, and possibly not the last. Caroline says she wants to go into politics when she's achieved all her business goals. If she does, I can imagine she would get a lot of support from her influential European colleagues who played such a part in Shameless Ambition, which was the first book in the series. Shameless Exposure covers events on a remote Scottish island which are indelibly stamped on my mind and which show what can happen when otherwise intelligent people jump aboard the latest cult bandwagon.

"Doesn't writing about the intimate details of your marriage put your relationship under pressure?"

I admit Caroline made me go with her to the marriage guidance clinic earlier this year. I think we are a typical modern couple. Writing about our ups and downs makes no difference to the fact that long hours of work mean that we spend less time together than we would ideally like. The books are fast-paced entertainments in the 'active romance' genre and are for women and men to enjoy, whether for the romance, or the intrigue, or the sex and sport. You will laugh, too, providing you see the funny side of life.

"Excuse me while I download a copy..."

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

When Fact Collides with Fiction

One problem with writing contemporary fiction is the danger that the fictional world will collide with real events, trumping the outrageous imaginings of the author. This has been happening almost daily in the revelations of corruption FIFA, with the publication of Shameless Corruption only two weeks away.

What is the 'corruption' referred to in the third book in the Shameless series? Corruption in the higher reaches of world football, corruption led by betting syndicates from the East trying to fix results in the build up to the World Cup, and the corruption created by huge amounts of money swilling around the football world. Elements of all these corruptions run through the story of my wife Caroline's attempt to infiltrate a Chinese betting syndicate in Singapore.

Against these unlikely world events, which turn out after all not just to be likely, but probable, there is the much more personal story of how such corruption changes an individual and leads them to behaviour that in other circumstances would be out of character. Caroline learns how to gamble in order to pass herself off as a 'high roller' in the casinos frequented by Mr Nim and his syndicate members. Even someone as hard-headed about money as Caroline can be tempted by the adrenalin thrill of the large wager. She hates losing money, and that only adds to the excitement for her. She believes that the next big win is just around the corner, and loses more than just her money in a world where huge risks are taken for huge rewards.

Is there a conspiracy at the heart of world football? Will money win out, however blatant the corruption just beneath the surface? And will Caroline give Mr Nim the red card and return to her former life as a married business executive, or take the illicit money and run? I have to hold my hands up here and admit I have a vested interested in the outcome.

If, like Caroline, you would like the answers to these questions, you can join her on her roller-coaster ride through the World Cup finals in just a couple of weeks time. Let's face it, the whole thing is bound to be a blast, whether Nim lands his dirty rotten gamble or whether football's governing bodies come clean and admit to fixing their own competition.

Who are these people?

The world is divided into voyeurs and exhibitionists... It takes one of each to make a good marriage.

Robert and Caroline Fanshaw are an ambitious young couple trying to make their way in a complex world.

What happens when their private affairs collide with world events and the big issues of our times? Drama, comedy and x-rated scenes.