Jim Webster’s A Fear of Heights Blog Tour and A Cat Will Play.

Jim Webster, a good friend of mine and correspondent on all matters Tallis Steelyard and Port Naain is visiting today with news of great importance.

©Jim Webster.

And now a brief note from Jim Webster.

“It’s really just to inform you that
I’ve just published a full Tallis Steelyard novel. Yes the rumours are true.
Tallis Steelyard, the man who considered jotting down a couple of anecdotes
to be ridiculously hard work, and considered the novella form to be the very
pinnacle of literary labour, has been cozened into producing a novel.”

It is, ‘Tallis Steelyard. A Fear of Heights.’

In this novel, recounted by Tallis Steelyard in his own inimitable manner,
we discover what happens when the hierarchy plots to take control of the
Shrine to Aea in her Aspect as the Personification of Tempered Enthusiasm.
Will the incumbent be exiled to a minor fane in the far north? Will Tallis
end up having to do a proper job? Does ordination and elevation beckon for
Maljie?
This story includes the Idiosyncratic Diaconate, night soil carts,
Partannese bandit chieftains, a stylite, a large dog and some over-spiced
food. On top of this we have not one but two Autocephalous Patriarchs and a
theologically sanctioned beggar.

Available both for kindle and in Paperback.

The cat will play
There is a lot to be said for having a pet. If you are in the happy position
of being able to feed your family adequately then adding another mouth has
merit. I confess to being fond of dogs, but I know some find their
exuberance wearing. Others look to the cat for companionship. I know the
feral cats who stalk our wharf, warily avoiding unheeding heavy boots as
they hunt for their lunch. A disregarded fish head or a rat, responses
leaden through overeating, both make a good lunch for our stalking feline.
As I pass them I will give them the time of day and occasionally one of them
might even rub against my leg.
I have been told that pets take on the character of their owner, whilst
others say that owners are drawn to pets who share their natural
characteristics. I trust that the latter is untrue, otherwise I would be
forced to regard many of my cat owning patrons as somnolent potential
murderers, prevented only from rending and devouring their prey by a happy
lethargy. I personally subscribe to the theory that, in reality, the pet and
the owner retain their own characters. This I state very firmly before
mentioning that Maljie is the proud owner of a cat.
Some have claimed you can no more claim ownership of a cat that I can claim
possession of those felines prowling along Fellmonger’s Wharf. They hold
that you merely share a house with them. This may indeed be true, I am not
qualified to comment. But I would point out that Maljie’s cat will wander
into meetings, following an agenda entirely of its own. There it will survey
the company, assess their worth and then curl up and go to sleep.
Now have you noticed how you can infuriate some people purely by sitting
quietly and reading? Imagine the passion you can arouse them to by merely
sleeping. Personally I think the problem lies in the unbalanced nature of
those who feel that nothing is ever achieved without frantic and largely
unfocused activity. How many of these folk realise that some of the finest
poetry is produced behind closed eyes? I confess in these matters my
sympathies lie entirely with the cat. Yet busy people insist that the cat
must ‘do something.’ Yet these folk are the first to complain if the cat
deposits half a rat on their bed for them.
In the case of Maljie’s cat, Maljie and Margarita felt that their cat might
benefit from intellectual stimulation. So it would be provided with toys. At
the same time, Laxey discovered that there was a fashion for building
castles for cats. He pointed out that this gave the cat exercise as it
climbed through the castle before sprawling and sleeping at a higher level.
I confess that I couldn’t see why the cat would bother. After all it could
do that now. It merely had to climb the stairs and sprawl on one of them. It
had all the advantages of the castle plus the chance than it might witness
somebody tripping amusingly and plunging past it.
Now it might have remained as a discussion topic if I hadn’t mentioned the
concept of the cat castle to Lancet Foredecks who was quite taken with the
idea. To him it was an essay in performance art, rich in symbolism and
redolent with metaphor. Not only that but he might have a legitimate reason
to purchase some toy soldiers to go with it.
Lancet bearded Laxey and importuned him for funding. Laxey merely pointed to
a large tree that had been felled (and Maljie had requisitioned for
firewood). “That will keep her in firewood for a decade or more, so feel
free to take some of that.”
A lesser artist would have regarded this as a ‘brush off’ but not Lancet. It
was all part of the performance. That very evening a troupe of mimes cut the
fallen tree into lengths and stole away with it. Two days later, Mottam
Wheel, owner of one of the city’s largest wood yards, arrived at his yard to
discover his great saw was working. A beast of a thing, a spinning blade
taller than a man, was powered through complex gearing by a large wheel in
which people normally walked. As he watched, he realised the wheel was being
powered by capering demons and sylphs. Closer inspection indicated that they
might be people dressed in appropriate (or in the case of the sylphs,
inappropriate) costumes. Lancet himself, dressed as a demon prince was
planking the wood. Mottam, one of the most easy-going men I’ve ever met,
checked that Lancet was doing the job properly, then opened his gates and
charged folk admission to see the performance. Two hours later, Lancet and
his ensemble left with their planks and half the takings.
Now came the construction of the castle. Lancet spent a day just sketching.
He did some research, mainly looking at the illustrations in ‘Castles of the
Demon Realms,’ by Silvan Hart. This was initially sold as a guide book,
profusely illustrated. It was later denounced as a confidence trick, a
creation of the author’s imagination. Since then various mages have
commented that it seems to have been widely read in some demon realms and
has provided a template for demon lords considering refurbishment.
Eventually Lancet started work. Wisely he backed a dray into his workshop
and started creating the castle on the dray. A week later, learning that
Maljie and her sister Margarita would be out, he had the castle drawn round
to the house. Here he made his first unfortunate discovery, the damned thing
wouldn’t fit through the door. To be honest, given that it hung over both
sides of the dray I could have pointed this out as a potential problem at
the start.
Still he was not defeated. Learning from Laxey that the two ladies intended
to go on a short retreat at the Shrine of Aea the Blessed on the coast not
far from Candleman’s Cove. Lancet measured the doorway and worked out how to
cut up his castle so he could pass it through the doorway and reassemble it
in one piece once inside.
Maljie and her sister set off for their retreat, with Laxey tasked with
‘looking after the cat.’ Lancet and his artistic comrades arrived and
swiftly carried the castle inside and started to build it. They then came up
against another problem. The castle was too large to assemble in any one
room. Lesser minds would have given up at this point but not Lancet. Rather
than just knock a wall out so that the castle would fit, instead he
assembled the castle in three different rooms but put holes through the
walls so that the three sections still communicated. Admittedly this meant
that there had to be a considerable shifting and rearranging of furniture,
but they didn’t have to discard any. On the other hand, Maljie’s bedroom now
contained more armchairs that was perhaps considered normal. Laxey then
tentatively introduced the cat to his new home. Rather to everybody’s
surprise, he appeared to like it.
Unfortunately Lancet and I had to be in Avitas when Maljie returned to
discover what had been done so I’m not entirely sure how she took it.

*******

Personally I am not sure I would employ Lancelot and his crew to build a ferret cage let alone a cat’s castle! What Maljie thought remains to be seen.

*******

Where can we find Jim?

At wordpress.com

Amazon

Announcing another Jim Webster Blog Tour.

Good Sunday morning everyone I am delighted to announce that Jim Webster is Starting another Tallis steelyard Blog Tour today.

I am publishing the route here, starting with Chris Graham.

**********

Chris Graham

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

A fine residence.

14thJuly

****

GD Deckard

Writers’ coop

https://writercoop.wordpress.com/

A man who doesn’t pay his bills never lacks for correspondence

15thJuly

****

Ritu Bhathal

https://butismileanyway.com/

Be careful what you pretend to be

16thJuly

****

Willow Willers

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/

Call yourself a writer

17thJuly

*****

Colleen Chesebro

https://colleenchesebro.com/

Every last penny

18thJuly

*****

Robbie Cheadle

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

It all comes out in the wash

19thJuly

****

Sue Vincent

https://scvincent.com/

noteworthy

20thJuly

****

Stevie Turner

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Oblige

21thJuly

****

Annette Rochelle Aben

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Performance art

22thJuly

****

Lynn Hallbrooks

https://www.authorreadercheerleader.com/arcblog

The alternative career of Dilkerton Thallawell.

23thJuly

****

Jaye

https://jenanita01.com/

The automated caricordia of Darset Dweel.

24thJuly

****

Ashlynn Waterstone

https://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/

The dark machinations of Flontwell Direfountain.

25th July

****
So jump on and enjoy.

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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