Tallis Steelyard . Deep Waters  And Other  Stories. and .  Tallis Steelyard Playing  The Game  And Other  Stories . 

Hello everyone I am delighted to announce that I have the honour to once again be part of a Jim Webster Blog Tour . This time we are invited to investigate Tallis Steelyard . Deep Waters And Other Stories. and . Tallis Steelyard Playing The Game And Other Stories .

Here is the route of the blog tour.

Stevie Turner

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

A significant gesture

Monday 8th April

Chris Graham

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

An eye to the future

Tuesday 9th April

Robbie Cheadle

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Butterfly net

Wednesday 10th April

Ritu Bhathal

https://butismileanyway.com/

Getting rich moderately rapidly

Thursday 11th April

Willow Willers

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

In tune with the Zeitgeist

Friday 12thApril

Colleen Chesebro

https://colleenchesebro.com/https://colleenchesebro.com/

Learning a role

Saturday 13th April

suzanne joshi

https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/

Love letters

Sunday 14th April

Ashlynn Waterstone

https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/

Matchmaker

Monday 15th April

Annette Rochelle Aben

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Mother mine

Tuesday 16th April

Lynn Hallbrooks

https://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcbloghttps://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcblog

No strutting or fretting

Wednesday 17th April

Jaye

https://jenanita01.com/https://jenanita01.com/

Something of the night?

Thursday 18th April

Ken Gierke

https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/https://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/

The civilising influence of Betta Thrang.

Friday 19thApril

MT McGuire

/https://mtmcguire.co.uk/

Unfashionably tired

Saturday 20th April

Sue Vincent

https://scvincent.com/

Vegetating

Sunday 21st April

In tune with the Zeitgeist.jpg

In tune with the Zeitgeist
I have mentioned musicians in the past, and I apologise for doing so again.
Normally the musicians I deal with are those performers who play their instruments at the events I am brought in to stage manage. They are sadly predictable, drinking anything that isn’t locked up and seducing anybody who isn’t strictly chaperoned.
Yet there is another level of musician; those who compose the music. These individuals probably stand to performing musicians as a great playwright stands to the actors who mangle his words and murder his syntax. This higher class of musician is a far more sophisticated beast than the mere performer.
They’re also far more diverse. Some of them seem to hide away in garrets, almost as if they were novelists, before emerging blinking into the daylight, bearing their next masterpiece before them like a shield. I confess I have some sympathy for these. Unlike novelists they don’t churn out inordinately lengthy works which can waste weeks of one’s life. After all even the longest and most dire opera is unlikely to last more than five hours. A bad novel can apparently last forever.
Then there are those who both write music and perform it. These seem to fall into two subsets. There is the older, more mature performer. They can be male or female and are true masters of their chosen instrument. Sitting through one of their performances can be a humbling experience. One feels vaguely honoured that one who has achieved such mastery has condescended to let you, in some small way, share in it. Often one is left with the feeling that they write their own music because nobody else can create anything
which challenges them.
Then there is the younger performer. For choice these are attractive young women with excellent voices who write and perform pleasant enough songs which suit their age and vocal range. I cannot vouch for their artistic merit but they always elicit enthusiastic applause. If you pick an appropriate audience, an attractive young man with similar accomplishments can do very well.
To be honest, if I manage to inveigle any performer who writes their own music to one of the soirees I oversee, I feel I have done my best for my patron. They can rest assured that the evening will be memorable.
Yet even in music there are rivalries and jealousies. Even worse, there are fashions which inexplicably sweep through society. So this week, a certain attractive young lady with a fine voice singing the pleasant songs she wrote herself will be all the rage. A fortnight later I might suggest booking her only to discover my patron struggles to remember her name. Suddenly the artist has moved from being fashionable to forgotten.
Indeed I have come to the conclusion that for the singer-songwriter things are harder than for poets. Whilst a poet is only ever as good as their last body of work; the work seems to somehow last. For the singer, everything seems to transient.I always felt sorry for Clarisina Errund. A delightful young woman with great charm and a definite gift when it came to playing keyboard and other instruments, she struggled to achieve the recognition she deserved.
Obviously young ladies in her circle were not really expected to have to work, but between ourselves, the money Clarisina earned from the sales of her sheet music were her dress allowance. Her widower father struggled to cope with failing health and a failing business, and whilst he could just about keep his daughter fed and housed, clothing her was beyond him.
She wrote beautiful melodies, but when she was invited to perform, people would listen to the tune and comment that they’d heard somebody else play that a week previously. Indeed on one occasion she sang as she played, only to be told by the hostess that she preferred the other words to the tune.
It was on one of these occasions that she smiled gamely, retired to the next room and burst into tears. I was present at the time and hastened to comfort her and asked her what the problem was. Apparently somebody was stealing her tunes.
This is indeed serious. But what to do about it?It seems that because of the general poverty of her family, they couldn’t afford to own a spinet and so when she was working on a tune she had to do so at the houses of various friends. It appears that others were taking advantage of this, listening to what she was creating, and noting it down and using it. This was a problem, but how to overcome it.
She mentioned that a young gentleman, a Rayand Hublank, had been supportive and had encouraged her in her work. Apparently he’d sat with her as she composed music. It appears that young Rayand was proud owner of a spinet and was quite an accomplished player. Obviously she could work at his house, but given he was a single man living on his own, propriety would be outraged if she were there on her own. Given that she suspected some of her female friends were party to the theft of her tunes she couldn’t invite them to chaperone her. To me the answer was obvious. I would be chaperone and could get on with some of my own work at the same time. Rayand was approached and proved almost embarrassingly enthusiastic to be part of the project. Thus and so, we met together to consider the matter and to come up with a plan of campaign.Things started innocuously enough. Clarisina had in mind a light and frothy little tune. It was a mere nothing really, pleasant, catchy, and adequate.
This she ‘composed’ in the presence of Rayand in the house of a friend, when
numerous other people were coming and going.
But then at Rayand’s house she got down to the serious work. To this first
tune she interwove a second and then a third, producing something of quite amazing complexity and beauty. Then in a moment of pure genius, she
conceived of a fourth melody line which wove in and out of the other three.
Rayand and I listened to all four melodies and we were completely won over.
The problem was that it was impossible for one person to play all four simultaneously on the same instrument. Clarisina tried but although she is accomplished, there is a limit to what she could achieve. Rayand dismissed the problem, told her to sleep on it and to return next day, refreshed, and the problem would solve itself.
I’m not sure she believed him, but she did as he recommended. Next day when the pair of us returned, it was to find workmen carrying a second spinet into the drawing room and placing it next to the first. Hastily Clarisina reworked the piece so it could be played by two people on two instruments and the pair of them set to practicing.
My own part was nominal. Other than being there to ensure decorum (Imagine, bringing in a poet to ensure decorum, you might as well leave a dog to guard your dinner.) I got on with my own work. But after the fifth day of practice the tune was going round and round in my head and finally the words I were writing twisted to fit the music. I stopped my two companions, told them to start from the beginning, and then sang the words as they played. Clarisina announced that this was the way forwards, and the words became part of the whole.
Obviously I was still working at various houses during the evenings and as I rather expected, Clarisina’s little tinkling song was doing the rounds, being quite popular amongst the undiscerning. After hearing it the seventh time, I suggested to my patron, the Widow Handwill, that I could find somebody better. Being the lady she is; she took me up on it immediately.
She and her guests were surprised when we struggled in carrying a second spinet. Still they waited for us to start, and Clarisina did, playing the tune that had started it all, and which had been stolen. One or two people even commented in a derogatory manner about this. The good Widow glared at them, and I halted the performance and said, “Oh, that little piece. Yes, somebody overheard Clarisina working on it and stole it. But this evening you are going to be the first people to hear the entire work.”

That rather silenced them, and I turned to our two performers and signalled
for them to start.
To be fair, I think it went very well. Clarisina played her tinking little piece. Then Rayand added in the second tune. I started to sing, and Clarisina added in the third tune and joined me in song. Finally Rayand brought in the fourth tune and added his voice to ours. We were met with rapturous applause.
Obviously with a success like this on their hands, our young composer and other fellow instrumentalist had to keep practising and performing. Eventually I was forced speak firmly to them.“Clarisina, Rayand, I have to tell you that I cannot keep on being chaperone. I have my own work to do and my own patrons to flatter.”
Clarisina looked worried. “So what can we do?”
I turned to Rayand. “Well if you got down on your knees and begged her to marry you, it would solve any number of issues.”
Fortunately that is a hint even a musician can grasp.

********

And the hard sell.

So welcome back to Port Naain. This blog tour is to celebrate the genius of Tallis Steelyard, and to promote two novella length collections of his
tales.

So meet Tallis Steelyard, the jobbing poet from the city of Port Naain. This great city is situated on the fringes of the Land of the Three Seas. Tallis makes his living as a poet, living with his wife, Shena, on a barge tied to
a wharf in the Paraeba estuary. Tallis scrapes a meagre living giving poetry readings, acting as a master of ceremonies, and helping his patrons run their soirees.
These are his stories, the anecdotes of somebody who knows Port Naain and its denizens like nobody else. With Tallis as a guide you’ll meet petty criminals and criminals so wealthy they’ve become respectable. You’ll meet
musicians, dark mages, condottieri and street children. All human life is here, and perhaps even a little more.

Firstly;-
Tallis Steelyard, Deep waters, and other stories.

Tallis Steelyard, Deep waters, and other stories..jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PTS3FGS

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PTS3FGS

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Discover
the damage done by the Bucolic poets, wonder at the commode of Falan Birling, and read the tales better not told. We have squid wrestling, lady writers, and occasions when it probably wasn’t Tallis’s fault. He even asks the great question, who are the innocent anyway?

And then there is;-
Tallis Steelyard. Playing the game, and other stories.

Tallis Steelyard. Playing the Game and other stories.jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PV1N7XZ

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PV1N7XZ

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Marvel at the delicate sensitivities of an assassin, wonder at the unexpected revolt
of Callin Dorg. Beware of the dangers of fine dining, and of a Lady in red.
Travel with Tallis as his poetical wanderings have him meandering through
the pretty villages of the north. Who but Tallis Steelyard could cheat death by changing the rules?

If you want to see more of the stories from the Land of the Three Seas, some of them featuring Tallis Steelyard, go to my Amazon page at

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

Tallis even has a blog of his own at

https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/

Do check out Tallis Steelyard’s world. That you will find it as captivating as I have, I have no doubt.

Jim Webster Blog Tour. Swimming for profit and pleasure & The Plight of the Lady Gingerlily.

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.”
“Who recently?”
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.
“Worse.”
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.

================

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