Hi, everyone. Jim Webster has a couple of new novellas coming out and I offered to help him spread the word.
Someone once wrote this about me…
“Jim Webster is probably still fifty-something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this, he has a wife and three daughters.
He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing fantasy and Sci-Fi novels.”
Now with eight much-acclaimed fantasy works and two Sci-Fi to my credit it seems I might be getting into the swing of things.Amazon Author Page: Jim Webster
Today, Jim shares a story to accompany the image below. Enjoy. ❤
Occasionally one has to do the right thing.
Benor woke up one morning feeling vaguely guilty. He mentally ran through the past few days to see if there was anything that could legitimately be a source of guilt, or perhaps he’d forgotten to worry about a father or husband seeking vengeance but could think of nothing.
Then he realised that he’d rather abandoned Faldon the priest. Whilst he’d been working for Gumption Silvernant he had passed along Slip Pike Lane and had seen Faldon standing outside his front door cutting somebody’s hair. Benor had thought the priest looked somewhat tired and drawn and had meant to drop in and see how he was.
He washed hastily, dressed and made his way ashore from the barge. On his way to Slip Pike Lane, he purchased some coffee. Then he purchased a loaf of bread still hot from the oven and at a butcher’s shop next to the baker’s bought some rashers of bacon, ready cooked. He borrowed a knife off the butcher, sliced the bread and stuck the bacon in between the slices and then dropped one more slice of bread into the frying pan and let the butcher fry that for him as well. He commented on the weather as he sprinkled salt generously on his fried bread. Then, as he paid the butcher, Benor winked at the butcher’s young wife, bowed with exaggerated formality to the butcher’s grinning mother, and finally left the shop in high spirits, chewing his fried bread.
Faldon was obviously not a morning person. He was still asleep when Benor arrived, so Benor lit the fire and started to boil water. The priest finally woke and clutched the mug coffee Benor passed him. “What brings you here Benor?”
“I just dropped in to see how you were and how you were getting on
Faldon sat on his bed and leaned his back against the wall. “It’s going
“No demon problems.”
Faldon rubbed his face with his free hand. “I’m exorcising it the hard way.”
He noticed Benor’s surprised expression. “Anybody can use ceremonies and rituals and by and large they work, at least for a while. But if you want to get rid of one for good, you’ve got to just be there. By living the right sort of life you defeat it not once, but time after time. Each victory is tiny, but the effect of all those tiny victories is far more profound than just one spectacular exorcism.”
“Oh,” this left Benor somewhat at a loss. Exorcism was a field that trainee cartographers don’t cover in detail. As far as he could remember his course had covered the topic briefly. They’d got a list of religious orders that appeared competent and were told not to try doing it themselves.
“Still, if you hadn’t turned up, I would have been sending for you.”
“You would be? Benor was even more surprised.
“Could you be here at noon today, there’s somebody I want you to meet.”
When Benor returned at noon he was surprised to find Wast Divot sitting on a stool talking to Faldon. Benor was about to make his excuses and leave, thinking the young man wanted to talk to a priest alone but Faldon beckoned Benor in.
“Close the door, we don’t want to be disturbed.”
Obediently Benor shut the door behind him and sat down on the remaining stool. Faldon turned to Wast Divot. “Right Wast, tell Benor what you told me.”
Wast looked distinctly nervous, “Well Benor knows some of the story, he
was who delivered Santon and I to those two women.”
“Delivered!” Benor was incredulous. Faldon shushed him and Wast continued his story.
“Santon and I have continued to visit the two women and might be said to be ‘walking out’ with them. Santon is infatuated with the older sister and I am ‘walking out’ with Minny. Santon urged me to keep going with him to see them so that he could have Jan, the older woman, on her own. Anyway, Minny got more and more affectionate and I had trouble keeping her at arm’s length.”
Benor had to stop himself staring at the younger man. Wast continued, his voice trembling slightly; “Minny started hinting that we’d make a good partnership with her money-making skills and my clerking ability. I played this down but she insisted that I was the sort of partner she wanted.”
Here Wast took a deep breath. “Then yesterday I got a note, could I drop in to see them during the early evening?”
I arrived and discovered to my surprise that Minny and I were alone in the shop. She said that she wanted to show me something that would convince me that we could have the perfect business arrangement. She led me upstairs and into a dark room. She whispered that the curtains were drawn so there would be no eavesdroppers. Then she lit a candle, put it on an occasional table and went to the bed.
From under the mattress, she took a box and unlocked it with a key she kept fastened to her belt by her purse. She then beckoned me across to look in the box. When she opened the lid there must have been at least a thousand alars in gold.” He looked across at Benor who was stunned. Fifty alars a year wasn’t a bad wage for a working man.
“I can see you doubt me?”
Benor shook his head, “No, but… “The coins were ten alar pieces, Port Naain minting. I’m a clerk working for a usurer, it’s my job, I know these things.”
“But what was she doing with all that money?”
“She told me that she’d been paid to do a job and some of the gold would be spent on doing the job. Apparently, we were halfway towards doing it, what with Santon handling the account for Jorrocks Boat Yard and me being the assistant on the ship brokering side of Muldecker’s business.”
Benor glanced towards Faldon and realised that Faldon was watching him carefully. Benor asked, “How real were the coins; were they fakes?”
Wast reached into his pocket and produced a gold ten alar piece. “Scratch it if you want. Benor examined it. It seemed real enough.
“As you can imagine, I was stunned. I dropped down on my knees and just stared at the money. But in the box, there was also a folded piece of paper, it might have been a letter.”
“Tell Benor what it said,” Faldon commanded.
“I couldn’t read all of it, Wast continued. “I could just make out a few sentences toward the end.
‘So, if the two lilies will die from salt water, how are you going to kill the little dragon? I trust that too will look like an accident.’ Then it was signed, ‘Ulgar-Zare.’
Then Minny came up behind me, reached into the box and gave me one of the coins, told me gold suited me.”
“Did she mention anything about whatever this job was?” Benor asked.
“No, I stood up and turned to face her and realised she was starting to undo her blouse. I ducked past her to leave and discovered she’d bolted the door. I managed to fend her off as I unfastened the bolt and then I just fled. I cannot go back, I dare not even go to work or Santon will doubtless want me to get involved again.”
Benor looked at the young man. He was obviously very frightened. Benor thought back to Minny. She had come across as self-possessed and forceful. He had made sure he was never alone with her.
Faldon asked, “So have you decided what you’re going to do?”
“Calan Jest has signed a condotta with one of the Partannese warlords and is raising a company to head south. I’ve signed on as company clerk. They’ll provide me with a horse and give me some training in arms, but they desperately need somebody capable of handling the finance. I ride south tomorrow.”
With that Wast seemed to sit up straighter, as if telling the tale had taken
a weight of his shoulders.
Faldon prodded Benor in the ribs. “So, what are you going to do about it?”
“Well, I cannot stop Wast riding south if his heart is set on it.”
“Not that you idiot, what are you going to do about this Minny. Who is going to be killed ‘by accident’? You’re the one who helped create this monster by giving her good references and finding her the victims she wanted!”
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, as a writer, I 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 I created.
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 loose 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.
Here is ‘Swimming for profit and pleasure’
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.
The second novella I’m releasing is ‘The plight of the Lady Gingerlily.’
It too is part of the Port Naain Intelligencer collection.
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.
Here’s Where to Find Jim Webster
Blog: Jim Webster: https://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com