Hi everyone I am so excited today because Jim Webster has asked me to be part of his latest Blog Tour introducing Swimming for profit and pleasure &The Plight of the Lady Gingerlily.
Below is the timetable of the tour so you can follow it and read the chapters.
1, For the want of a knight.
Monday 18th January Chris Graham
2, The eyes have it
. Tuesday 19th February. Stevie Turner
3, The miser and the demon Wednesday 20th February. Annette Rochelle Aben.
4,Just one more glass. Thursday 21st February. willow willers
5, Occasionally one has to do the right thing. Friday 22nd February. Colleen Chesebro
6, Consummate Artistry. Saturday 23rd February. Suzanne Joshi
7, Something fishy. Sunday 24th February. Robbie Cheadle
8,The ethical choice. Monday 25th February Anita
9, Delicate work. Tuesday 26th February Ritu Bhathal
10,A cup of wine, a loaf of bread and thou. Wednesday 27th February. Lynn Hallbrooks
11, An appropriate boy. Thursday 28th February Ken Gierke
12 , Embarrassing Friday 1st March M.T. McGuire
13, Everything going swimmingly. 2nd March. Sue Vincent.
Just one more glass
Benor had gone from kicking his heels wondering what to do for work, to being remarkably busy. Whilst Gumption Silvernant might be paying the guild rates, he expected to see a return for his money. To compound the problem, the miser had properties scattered all over Port Naain and Benor and Mutt found themselves in areas neither of them were familiar with. Still after three weeks of frantic activity, it was with some relief that Benor produced a final report and received his final week’s pay.
Benor’s plan had been to spend a couple of days just lazing about and relaxing, but he discovered to his discomfort that other people now had tasks for him. From Shena he got a cheery, ‘Given you’re doing nothing
today, Benor, could you take this scrap metal to Dannal at the end of Chandler’s Way.” Then from Tallis there was a cryptic note carried by a maid so junior she was struggling to cope with her starched white blouse, white
pinafore worn over a calf length black skirt, and clumpy shoes, “Thallton House, Sea View Crescent, Merchant’s Quarter. Soonest.” She delivered the
message and fled, leaving Benor wondering what Tallis had told the girl about him.
Benor made his way to the house at a more sensible pace and upon introducing himself at the tradesman’s entrance, was immediately admitted. The house was obviously newly let, the servants’ quarters were barely furnished and stood
remarkably empty. Benor was ushered into a room where a miscellaneous group of domestics, some in outdoor closes. These latter were probably the servants of the guests Tallis was entertaining. They were all clustered
round a middle aged woman who was having her glass refilled.“Come on, come on, pour with a generous hand, none of your niggardly ways.”
One of the servants detached herself from the group and whispered into Benor’s ear. “Tallis left this note for you.”
Benor accepted the crumpled piece of paper. There, written in Tallis’s fair hand was a brief message.
“Get her home to her husband. Also get her talking about the Chevaleresse of Windcutter Keep.”
Typical Tallis, any normal person writing a hasty note would have
abbreviated the title to ‘Lady of’ but not Tallis. He stuffed the note into his pocket and joined the group, wondering how to proceed. The man pouring
the drink greeted him with the words. “Look Alia, here’s the chap who’s going to escort you home to your husband.”
Alia tore her gaze from her glass. “That pretty boy?” “Yes he’ll get you safely home.”
Alia drained her glass and held it out for a refill. The man ostentatiously removed the jug. “Bastard.” Alia spoke without particular vehemence. “And
abandoning me to this young pup.” She turned to Benor, “You’re not getting your hands in my drawers.”
In the resigned tones of somebody who has had to deal with too many drunks, Benor replied, “I’ve just been asked to get you back to your husband. Where do you live?”
“Not telling you.”
“House with a yellow door at the end of Copper’s Sneak, off Ropewalk,” said the man with the jug. He nodded to two of the women present. They were
obviously well versed in Alia’s little ways because they stood, one each
side of her, and swiftly had her to her feet. Then before she could complain they manoeuvred her to Benor and draped one of Alia’s arms across the young man’s shoulders. “There’ll be a final glass when you’re out of the door.” “Bastards.” Benor made his way to the door; Alia cooperated, clutching her now empty
glass in her free hand. In the doorway she halted abruptly, holding out her glass to be filled. The man with the jug shook his head. “The outside door Alia.”
“Bastard.” Benor set off towards the door and much to his relief Alia came with him. At the outside door he stopped again and waited whilst Alia drank off the last glass. She passed the empty glass back with a dainty gesture and then belched. Finally she turned to Benor. “You going to stand there all night or are we going home?”
They made their way into the street, Benor wondering how to start the conversation. Before he could say anything, Alia said, “They shouldn’t treat me like this, I used to be a housekeeper, in a big house as well.”
“Oh yes, who did you work for?”
“Me, I worked for gentry.”
“You did?” Benor tried to sound interested. “Who?”
“Lots of them.”
Alia stopped, nearly causing Benor to stumble. “I’ve worked for the best you know. I worked for the ‘Golden Lady’ of Partann.”
Benor asked, “Is she the one who’s called the Chevaleresse of Windcutter Keep?”
“Yes but I always call her the golden lady on the grounds that the other word’s bad to pronounce when you’ve drunk too much.”
“What was she like?”
“A real lady, not grand, not hoity-toity, she spoke to you like you were a person.”
“Did you work for her in Partann?”
“Get away with you; do I look like one of them savages? I worked for her when she was in Port Naain, she kept house here.”
Benor started walking, and Alia walked with him. Benor asked, “So you liked working for her?”
“Yes. She was a lady.” Alia paused. “Not like the bitch she had working for her?”
“Bitch she had working for her?”
“That fat horrocks Minny she had as a maid.”
“What was up with her?”
“Ha, how long have you got?”
“Well I’m walking you back home,” Benor said, reasonably.
“We’ll have to go by Dilbrook if you want the full list.”
“That bad,” Benor tried to sound sympathetic.
They walked in silence for a few minutes as Alia obvious contemplated the
awfulness that was Minny.
“She was a scheming, thieving, conniving slut.”
“I can see you didn’t like her,” Benor commented dryly.
“Hated her, the bitch. I mean all domestic staff helps themselves to bits an’ bobs nobody needs anymore, it’s perks, innit. Minny used to go round the room with a sack helping herself.”
“And the Chevaleresse put up with it?”
“Yeah well Minny just blamed everybody else. Then she kept slipping off to meet some fellow.”
“Anybody you knew,” Benor asked, genuinely curious.
“Nah, just some man from Partann. Handsome enough but with an evil look about him. Ulgar-Zare I think he was called.”
They walked on in silence, Benor contemplating what Alia had said, and Alia seething at the unfairness of it all. After perhaps five minutes she almost exploded. “Then she had to go south an’ Minny just disappeared into Port Naain. I had to help the Lady dress and pack on the last day she were here.
She asked me to go back to being a house keeper when she came back.”
“Did she say when that would be?”
Sadly, Alia shook her head. “No, and positions are bad to come by.” Then she brightened up a little. “But she said it would be this year, she’d have business to transact.”
“With a bit of luck eh?”
“Yeah.” With that Alia fell silent and the pair of them walked onwards in an almost companionable manner. Finally they turned into Copper’s Sneak.
“It’s that un, with the yellow door.”
Benor said, “Thank you,” out of habit. They made their way along the road to the door and Benor hammered on it.
A tall man, balding and bearded opened it. He surveyed them in silence. Alia announced, “I’m home, love, an’ he hasn’t been rummaging through my
drawers.” The man reached out and disentangled her from Benor. He winked at the
younger man as he did so. “I’m sure he’s a most respectable young man. Now let’s get you inside. You’re going to regret it all in the morning.”
With that he manoeuvred her through the door and closed it behind him.
Through the door Benor clearly heard Alia’s voice saying, “Bastards.” He thought there was almost a touch of affection in her tone.
And now the hard sell.
I’ve thought long and hard about blog tours. I often wonder how much somebody reading a book wants to know about the author. After all, I as a writer have gone to a lot of trouble to produce an interesting world for my
characters to frolic in. Hopefully the characters and their story pull the reader into the world with them. So does the reader really want me tampering
with the fourth wall to tell them how wonderful I am? Indeed given the number of film stars and writers who have fallen from grace over the years,
perhaps the less you know about me the better?
Still, ignoring me, you might want to know a bit about the world. Over the years I’ve written four novels and numerous novellas set in the Land of the Three Seas, and a lot of the action has happened in the city of Port Naain.
They’re not a series, they’re written to be a collection, so you can read them in any order, a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories in that regard.
So I had a new novella I wanted to release. ‘Swimming for profit and pleasure.’ It’s one of the ‘Port Naain Intelligencer’ collection and I decided I’d like to put together a blog tour to promote it. But what sort of tour? Then I had a brainwave. I’d get bloggers who know Port Naain to send
me suitable pictures and I’d do a short story about that picture. It would be an incident in the life of Benor as he gets to know Port Naain.
Except that when the pictures came in it was obvious that they linked together to form a story in their own right, which is how I ended up writing one novella to promote another! In simple terms it’s a chapter with each
picture. So you can read the novella by following the blogs in order. There is an afterword which does appear in the novella that isn’t on the blogs, but it’s more rounding things off and tying up the lose ends.
Given that the largest number of pictures was provided by a lady of my acquaintance, I felt I had to credit her in some way.
So the second novella I’m releasing is ‘The plight of the Lady Gingerlily.’
It too is part of the Port Naain Intelligencer collection.
So we have ‘Swimming for profit and pleasure’
And here too
Benor learns a new craft, joins the second hand book trade, attempts to
rescue a friend and awakens a terror from the deep. Meddling in the affairs of mages is unwise, even if they have been assumed to be dead for centuries. And we have
The Plight of the Lady Gingerlily
And here too for US
No good deed goes unpunished. To help make ends meet, Benor takes on a few
small jobs, to find a lost husband, to vet potential suitors for two young
ladies, and to find a tenant for an empty house. He began to feel that
things were getting out of hand when somebody attempted to drown him.