The Bet on Countdown

No, not the afternoon quiz show.

It’s six months since I last did a special offer for The Bet.

Here’s the blurb:

“Jenny likes a challenge and Antony is the biggest challenge of her life…

“Boys like you get preyed upon,” Antony’s father tells him in a rare moment of honesty and openness, but Richard can have no idea just how vulnerable his eighteen-year-old son truly is. From a family where nothing is quite as it seems and where secrecy is the norm, Antony seems fair game to the predatory Jenny. Her relentless pursuit of him originates in a mean-spirited bet made with her colleague Judy, Antony’s former history teacher, who has challenged Jenny to track him down and seduce him. Jenny is totally unprepared for Antony’s refusal to sleep with her or to have any sort of relationship other than friendship. She’s never met anyone quite like him before and her obsession deepens the more he rejects her. She’s no idea what he’s already been through and as far as she’s concerned it’s irrelevant.

Pretty soon, for both of them it becomes a much more serious matter than a mere bet and the consequences are unimaginable for either of them.”

The book will be a mere 99p for three days, before the price rises to £1.99 for three days, and then reverts to the original price of £2.90 (which I think is very reasonable anyway)

This is as close to free as I go. Have a read of the reviews because there are a good few where the reviewer says they didn’t think they’d like this book but as soon as they started they found themselves staying up too late just to read another chapter. I’ve had folks says they missed bus stops, were late for work, stayed up all night, reading it.


(A small plea from me: please, please, please share this post widely if you can, wherever you feel it’s worth sharing, on FB, in FB groups, Twitter and other social media, or direct to friends you think will enjoy the book. I have no budget for advertising and any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.)


An Eye for an Eye for an Eye ~subverting and challenging genres

Today’s post comes from Marc Nash. If you remember I was setting sail on a voyage to discover books that are exciting and break the norms; Marc is one of the authors creating such work. You can find his blog here:

I used to bristle at the word ‘genre’. Apparently I don’t just write ‘fiction’, rather my novels are in the genre ‘literary fiction’. Yet ask for a definition of quite what that is and you’d struggle to receive a coherent answer. At best you might receive woolly assertions that genre novels tend to operate more on the level of plot and story-line, while literary fiction places less emphasis on plot and more on language and character. I’ve never understood why literary novels supposedly don’t overly-concern themselves with plot, nor why genre novels can’t attain high level of literariness through their language. They are not mutually exclusive. I always have the sneaking suspicion, that ‘literary fiction’ is merely the genre tag for when a book can’t be neatly fitted into any of the other genres.

But my new novel “An Eye For An Eye For An Eye” is a bit different for me. Firstly I wanted to write a genre book that also demonstrated a literariness through it’s language and depth of character study. But I also approached the task of writing a genre book that was at the same time also subverting the very notion of genre. Taking the standards of the genres I was working in and breaking as many of those prescriptions as I could. Will the gatekeepers of these literary genres admit my book to their canon, or will they banish it as heretical?

Genre number one: Police procedural. The main character Simon Moralee is charged with clearing up murders, yet he isn’t actually a policeman at all. He’s a member of the public with a special psychic power, who is adopted by the police to make them look good in their clean-up rates. The problem for them is, his mental ability completely obviates the need for any detective work at all, so that he actually represents the death of procedure. The police are demoted into serving as little more than Moralee’s baby sitters, yet he himself yearns for being elevated to a true policeman and bemoans what his gift has done to the solid practises of evidence and deduction.

Genre number two: Paranormal. Well Simon’s psychic gift is notionally a paranormal one. Since he can decoct the last few frames a person sees before they die, which in the case of murder victims is usually the faces of their killers. The book examines quite how the balance of his mind may have been shaped to throw up such a power, while his adversary also offers further, menacing but mundane reasons as to what lies behind such an ability. But the book goes further, as part of its theme interrogates those very last frames in a person’s life as it tantalisingly probes just what happens at the point of death. So a paranormal phenomenon actually serves as the launchpad of the most rooted-in materiality fact, that of death itself.

Genre number three: Dystopia. The definition of ‘dystopia’ is a place where everything is as bad as it could possibly be. Yet you don’t need the post-apocalyptic delight of a zombie invasion, or some viral pandemic, or nuclear catastrophe to bring civilisation to its knees. My inhospitable world is one more of drift and aimlessness, fostered by a collapse of central authority brought about by economic bankruptcy. I was conceiving of a world not too much further removed from the economic problems suffered by certain countries within the Eurozone like Greece and Spain. What might happen were a government forced to adopt such economic stringencies, that citizens no longer saw any benefit in regarding themselves as citizens of their nation? So the dystopia I have created is one that has many recognisable facets of our own society and offers some political slant on where our Western democracies may currently lie in their relationship to us their citizens.

And yes, “An Eye For An Eye For An Eye” not only has a plot, a considerable array of big ideas and themes, but it also revels in its literary language! Now to see what the genre purists make of it.