Tempting Fate by Mark J. Howard

TEMPTING FATE is the story of two small villages that stand upon opposite banks of the wide and sluggish River Range. These villages, Tubbin-in-the-Field and Home-Holm-on-the-Range, have stood virtually unchanged since the times of the great King Arthur Pendragon, who, in his later years, often took his holidays there. Guinevere preferred Penge, but nobody’s perfect.

There are many strange things about the Two Villages, not least of which is the Gossamer City, a faerie metropolis constructed inside a disused molehill behind a clump of nettles. Even so, the villagers are a happy lot and enjoy the peace and tranquillity that flow in abundance through this small corner of the English countryside. Thatched roofs, gardens bristling with roses, chocolate box scenery and so on and so forth are very much the vogue in this contented district. Think blue skies and school holiday summers.

Recently, however, a shadow has fallen over this idyllic place. A shadow in the form of one Sam Suedo, an outsider who has moved into the abandoned video shop on Lifthrasir Road, with the intention of selling antiques and assorted curios.

However, is Sam Suedo all he appears to be? The gentle faerie folk don’t think so and seal off their city, leaving only the Princess Thausamorgern, Merlaraine the Wise One and the foul mouthed Gallaharn to sort things out.

Police Constable Horace Chaff, the recondite Professor Quartermaster, landlord of the Realm, Theodore Astrolabe, and that despoiler of common decency, Devious Dave, all have much the same idea. They feel that Sam Suedo can only be some form of slavering demon from the depths of Hell and set out to save the world. In so doing, however, they find themselves trapped inside a spare second of time left over from when God created the universe.

Even if they can find their way out, can they save the world, and, rather more to the point, do they have any idea what they are supposed to be saving it from?

TEMPTING FATE is the first of the Two Villages novels, conceived and written by one of the most twisted minds of the modern age.

Available to buy April, 2021