The Plight Of The Gingerlily – Jim Webster #blogtour

Today, I am delighted to host fantastic author Jim Webster as he is going on a tour of the Blogosphere for his new release, The Plight of the Lady Gingerlily.

Without further ado, I shall pass you over to Jim!

We shall start with a photo, and the story that was inspired by it!

Delicate work
A casual observer might have assumed that Benor Dorfinngil was in a good mood. He had a spring in his step and might even be whistling a merry tune. 
There was good reason for his high spirits. Things were going rather well. 
He had funds. Admittedly he’d ended up giving two of the ten alar coins to 
Shena, on the grounds that the costs entailed in purchasing a dress might well come within the definition of legitimate expenses incurred during the investigation. On the other hand, he’d been firm with Tallis. Benor couldn’t see why Tallis needed compensating for the strain of looking after innumerable grandchildren. Given that the alternative would have been accompanying Shena to purchase a dress, Benor felt he’d taken the easy option. Once she’d accepted the coins, Benor had mentioned the name, Salat 
Wheelstrain, to her and Shena had, in good grace, promised to ask around.
Another of the coins had been broken into a most commendable quantity of small change and Mutt was using this to marshal his array of watchers. If 
the two sisters left the house their movements were tracked and their 
conversations overheard by a collection of inconspicuous and apparently 
innocent children. Benor had been surprised just how much activity Mutt 
could command for a comparatively small outlay.
Now he was intent on seeing Faldon the priest. As Faldon had been the instigator of the inquiry, Benor felt that it was only right that he occasionally reported back on what had been achieved. There was the problem that Faldon was disinclined to support anything to unethical, but Benor felt he could gloss over some matters. There was also the hope that Faldon would keep his eyes and ears open and might even have something to contribute to 
the investigation.
When Benor arrived at the house he found Faldon sitting out in the street enjoying the afternoon sun. Unwilling to accept payment for cutting the hair of passers-by, Faldon tended to be paid in kind. Obviously, somebody had gifted him a bench of solid but inelegant construction, and this was set against the front wall of the house. Faldon sat on it, but when Benor appeared, the priest moved to one end to allow the younger man space to sit 
“So how are things progressing?”
Airily Benor said, “I now have the two women watched by experts.”
“Hopefully we shall be ready if she makes a move against the child.” Faldon shifted his position on the bench as if his comment had left him uncomfortable. Then he changed the subject, “So what do you know about 
Jorrocks Boat Yard?”
“Well, they bought a lot of very poor quality second-hand timber. Also it 
appears Minny thought it important that Santon handled the Jorrocks Boat 
Yard account for Raswil Muldecker the usurer.”
“What do we know about the yard?”
“I’d never heard of them,” Benor admitted. “But then I thought to ask Shena. 
They are one of the smaller yards. Old Yalla Jorrocks had a good name, his son, Belan, wasn’t a bad boat builder, but by all accounts, he wasn’t the cheapest and apparently you had to keep an eye on him or corners were cut. 
Of the current generation, Ardal is in charge and he is, apparently, the person to go to if you’re planning an insurance swindle or want something
doing that isn’t particularly legal. The smugglers tend to deal with him.”
Faldon asked, “So would it be worth having a look at the yard?”
“It could be. But I doubt they’d welcome casual visitors. I suspect I’d have 
to look round at night.”
Hesitantly Faldon asked, “Would you like me to come with you?”
Surprised Benor said, “Certainly, it’s good to have support, but it didn’t 
strike me as the sort of thing you’d want to get involved in.”
“I’m feeling a bit guilty,” Faldon admitted. “I dumped this job on you and 
haven’t really done a lot to help.”
“Fair enough. If Mutt can spare the time I’ll get him to come as well. Today 
has been overcast so it looks like we’ll get a dark night.”


The night was as dark as Benor hoped. Mutt met them just outside the yard. 
He’d insisted on doing a private reconnaissance first. When they met he led them down a narrow lane between two boatyards leading to the estuary. The yards on either side of the lane had tall fences made of a mixture of second and third-hand timber; in various states of decay. As they got close enough to see the water glinting in the estuary, Mutt stopped.
“This bit is rotten; I got through. You two can follow me.”
Luckily both men were slender and wiry; a more thickset man would have had trouble. Still, by the time they’d pushed through, the hole was noticeably larger. They entered the yard behind a pile of timber. Fortunately, it hadn’t been piled against the fence, probably because it was unlikely that the fence could support the weight. The three of them crept out from behind the pile of wood and into the open. The entire area seemed to be a haphazard collection of piles of timber looming out of the darkness. Benor led the way. He could see something against the skyline which looked like a boat on the stocks.
He stopped and listened. There was no sound, just the noises of the city in the background. He stood up. Quietly he said, “I think we can walk. There 
doesn’t look to be anybody about.”
Cautiously the other two stood up. Mutt hissed, “I’ll go to the right a bit, 
see if there’s any sign of anybody over there. There’s some sort of hut near 
the gate in.”
Benor nodded and made his way towards the boat. Faldon moved off to the 
left, “There’s a pile of something over here.”
Benor kept his eye on Mutt, the boy disappeared around a pile of wood, but
there was still no sound. He waited but the boy didn’t come back, so he’d obviously not found anything. He moved forward and as he did so there was a 
ripping sound and then a scream to his left. He spun around and Faldon wasn’t there. Hastily he dropped down onto his hands and knees to make himself less conspicuous and crawled in the direction of the scream. Suddenly his hands touched canvas.
Quietly he said, “Faldon?”
From below him came Faldon’s voice. “Down here. I went through the canvas. 
The ground here is stone slabs!”
Benor reached out, found a torn end, and tore it further so he could see down. Below him, he could see the pale blob of Faldon’s face. Mutt appeared
next to him. “What ‘appened.”
From below Faldon commented, “There’s a boat down here.”
Benor explained, “So Faldon’s fallen through the cover over a dry dock.”
“Well get ‘im out. There’s a hut over there with a light in the windows. I 
heard the scream, they might of.”
Benor reached down. “Can you grab my hand?”
Faldon tried to stand up. “I’ve damaged my ankle.”
Benor tried to estimate the depth. “Is there a ladder, I don’t fancy the 
“Yes, just along there.” Benor tried to see in the direction Faldon was pointing. There might be something. He tore the rotten canvas and made his way in that direction. Yes, there was a ladder. “Mutt, I’ll go down and help 
him up, you catch him.”
At the foot of the ladder, Faldon was waiting; he’d used the ladder to haul himself upright. Slowly and with Benor taking the weight, he climbed the ladder.
“Get on, someone coming.”
Benor put his shoulder under Faldon and pushed the other man out of the
hole. As he did so a rung, rotten with age, snapped and Benor fell onto the next which also snapped. At this, he tumbled back into the hole.
Mutt repeated, “Someone coming.”
“Get Faldon hidden, I’ll hide down here.”
“If they find owt, I’ll let ‘em chase me.”
Benor looked round for a hiding place. His eyes were becoming accustomed to the light. There was a boat here; perhaps he could hide inside the hull. He scrambled up the rope tied to the side, dashed across the deck and lowered himself over the combing and into the hold. In there it was dark. He stood completely still and listened.
A voice said, “Telled you there were someone. The sheet’s torn.”
A second voice said, “Better go down and look then.”
There was silence then a curse. “Watch the bluidy ladder, it’s knackered.”
“Here, stop moaning and I’ll pass you down the torch.”
Suddenly there was a hint of light inside the hull. Obviously, some of the planking hadn’t been caulked yet so light was coming in between them. Benor glanced around; he could make out the mast, seated in a block fastened to the keel. He moved and stood behind that. From outside he heard, “Nobody out 
“Then look inside the boat.”
“Waste of time.”
“Why, had you got something more interesting planned? Look inside the boat.”
Benor heard muffled cursing then there was the sound of booted feet on the deck above him. Suddenly there was light streaming in through the hatch. 
Benor pressed himself against the mast. Now with more illumination, he could see something strange at the stern of the boat. There was some sort of box.
From outside a voice said, “Well are you going in?”
“If I am you can bluidy well come up here and hold the ladder.”
Benor looked around desperately for a better place to hide. The box at the stern was the only possible place. He made his way carefully to the stern. 
He paused briefly. There were two large timber planks, curved to match the curve of the hull. There was one on the port side, another to starboard, and they appeared to be fastened to the timbers of the hull. For some reason, the two planks were linked, across the hold, by a rope. Benor carefully stepped over it. It appeared to be bar-tight.
Then he saw that running from this rope was another rope which led unto the box. Hastily Benor ducked under the second rope and climbed up into the box. 
It appeared to be full of canvas. Frantically he burrowed into it and lay there. Now whoever was holding the light was obviously in the hold. Benor could see it coming in through the gaps between the planks of the box.
“Still see nowt.”
A third voice said, “Well happen it’s because there’s nowt to see.”
The second voice replied. “Then stop wasting time and let us search the rest 
of the yard.”
The light grew dimmer. Benor lay utterly still in the darkness. He listened to men cross the deck and drop down onto the ground. He then heard somebody cursing the broken rungs of the ladder and finally he was alone in the silent darkness. He lay there, still listening; in the far distance he could hear voices but couldn’t make out the words. Carefully he pulled a stub of candle out of his belt pouch. Then he took a match out of its tin and with the small pliers provided by the manufacturer, crushed the bulb at the end of the match. It flared into flame and he hastily lit the candle. Then he looked around.
He found himself lying on neatly folded canvas in a box that was comfortably large enough to hold him and the canvas. When he looked, the back of the box was the stern of the boat, but it seemed to be hinged. Why would you want to get out of a boat under the waterline? Also, why was there a rope sewn to the canvas and disappearing out through a hole in the hatch?
Was it a drogue to slow the boat down or assist steering?
He climbed out of the box and lowered himself onto the bottom of the hold. 
He stepped over the taut robes. If the drogue was released into the water, 
it would pull on the cross rope, but the planks fastened to the sides of the hull would take the strain. That didn’t make a lot of sense. If asked to build something like this, he’d have fastened it to the keel, or even to the block in which the mast was seated. These were more substantial pieces of wood, and capable of taking the strain.
He made his way to the entrance hatch. He climbed up the ladder and onto the deck, shielding his candle with his hat lest the light be seen from outside. 
He walked silently across the deck and lowered himself over the edge, 
dropping down to the ground at the stern of the boat. From the outside the hatch was visible and it had a length of rope dangling from it. He shook his head, puzzled, and made his way along the side of the boat. A third of the way along, he came to a plank running vertically up the side of the boat. He held the candle nearer to it, lifting the hat slightly with his other hand to let more light shine on the hull. This plank seemed to be bolted to the plank inside the hull as if to ensure the strain was spread across more of the timbers. He looked at them carefully. They were freshly nailed, but the more he looked at them, the more incredulous he became.
He then looked round the dry dock. Stacked against the side of the dock there were some more planks. These had obviously come off the side of a 
boat; you could see the nail holes where they’d been fastened on. Now it wasn’t uncommon for a boatyard to replace ships timbers, but these were in excellent condition. They’d obviously been taken off the hull and replaced by wood in a very poor condition. At this point, Benor remembered what he’d heard about the yard buying a lot of very poor quality second-hand timber.
The only thing that made sense was an insurance fraud. The crew could wait until they were out at sea; get all sails set and then abandon ship. They would then pull on the rope at the back of the boat so that the drogue deployed and very rapidly this would put too much strain on the hull and would tear in two large areas of planking. Benor guessed that the water pouring in through the great gaps in the hull would sink the boat within minutes. He stopped and thought about it. It was a bit fussy and involved a lot of planning, but there again; it could be done perfectly safely by the person doing it.
He continued along the side of the boat. At the bow was a nameplate. He raised the candle to illuminate it. The Flower of Partann.
A shout from somewhere in the yard brought him back to the present. 
Somewhere out there was Faldon who needed help. Swiftly Benor snuffed out the candle and climbed the damaged ladder, avoiding the broken rungs. There were raised voices and angry shouting near the gate. He couldn’t imagine 
Mutt could have got Faldon to the gate on his own, so he made his way back towards the way they’d come in. He’d not passed the second pile of timber 
before he heard a soft voice saying, “Benor, this way.”
He ducked down behind the woodpile. Faldon lay there waiting for him. “Mutt 
has gone to get Tallis; he reckons it’ll take two of you to move me any 
“How’s the ankle?”
“Probably broken.”
“Right, so which way will Tallis come?”
“Mutt said to go to the hole we came in through.”
”Right, I’ll try and get you there.”
Benor helped the other man to his feet and Faldon threw an arm over Benor’s shoulders. The priest’s inability to put his left foot on the ground slowed them considerably, and Benor kept looking over his shoulder towards the main entrance. “I hope Mutt got away.”
”He said there were other holes he could get through.”
As he glanced back, Benor could see light moving in their vague direction.”
“Down, we’ll have to crawl this bit.”
On hands and knees they made their way behind the pile of timber screening 
the hole in the fence.
A voice shouted, “Right, now search this bluidy yard properly. Cover every 
bluidy inch of it. That kid must be somewhere and he probably wasn’t alone.”
For the next half hour Benor watched the lights working methodically around 
the boatyard. More lights appeared as reinforcements were called in.
“I think I better help you through the hole.”
“What about Tallis?”
Benor bit his tongue and then said, “Tallis can look after himself. If the 
worst comes to the worst I can get you down to the Estuary and into the 
“I’ve never tried swimming with a broken ankle.”
“There’s a first time for everything. Don’t worry, I can support you and we’ll 
let the current carry us away from here.”
“Where will it take us?”
“That’s just an embarrassing detail; away from here is the important bit.”
Faldon fell silent and Benor helped him wiggle through the hole. Then on 
hands and knees they continued down the narrow lane towards the beach. By 
the water’s edge Benor said quietly, “I’ll go back to the hole. If Tallis 
gets here soon we might be able to go with him.”
Benor stood in the dark for what seemed like hours. The searchers were 
getting closer, at some point they would reach the hole in the fence. Then 
he heard another noise, footsteps. Somebody was coming down the lane. In the 
gloom he could see several men who appeared to be carrying something. Ahead 
of them was Tallis. “Where are you Benor?”
Benor hissed, “Keep your bluidy voice down.”
Tallis turned round. “We’re here. Put the chair down.”
He turned back to Benor, “Where’s the casualty.”
Silently Benor pointed down the lane to the estuary. Tallis nodded, “This 
way chaps.”
Benor looked on with astonishment as a two-person sedan chair with four 
chairmen made their way past him. He would have sworn that a lady smiled at 
him out of the window. He grabbed Tallis. “What in the forty-seven hells is 
going on?”
“Mutt found me at the house of the Widow Handwill. It was she who pointed 
out that a sedan chair was the obvious mode of transport, and that the 
presence of a lady would help maintain decorum.”
“Will it?” Benor asked, his tone indicating disbelief.
“If not, the presence of four sturdy chairmen will,” said Tallis with an air 
of absolute confidence. “And then there’s Mutt.”
“Why, what’s he doing?”
“A diversion, listen.” There were shouts from in the boatyard. Benor ducked 
down and looked through the hole. There were flames at the far end near 
where he’d assumed the offices were. “He’s set fire to something?”
The sedan chair came back past them, the bearers were grinning. Benor saw 
two faces smiling at him through the window. “Coming?” Asked Tallis, “or do 
you want to spend the night here?”

I’m sure you’ll all agree that was a fantastic story! But what about the book, time for Jim’s input…

Jim Webster
Here’s the man, himself!

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 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.
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’

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

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.

Find Jim’s blog:

And his Amazon author page here.

29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Blog Tour: Everything going swimmingly ~ Jim Webster | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo
  2. Trackback: An Appropriate Boy ~ Tallis Steelyard Guest Post | rivrvlogr
  3. Michael Ogazie
    Feb 27, 2019 @ 14:57:12

    Reblogged this on Worldwide Blog.

    Liked by 2 people


  4. OIKOS™-Publishing
    Feb 27, 2019 @ 14:51:53

    Great feature Sis! Thank you! Michael

    Liked by 2 people


  5. Michael Ogazie
    Feb 27, 2019 @ 14:04:46

    Well written!

    Liked by 3 people


  6. dornahainds
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 20:26:50

    Karma. No one can escape her Just grasp. 🥀😎

    Liked by 3 people


  7. Ashlynn Waterstone
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 17:58:32

    Reblogged this on Waterstone Way and commented:

    Part 9 of the ongoing story. Have you bought the book and far ahead or have you been following along?

    Liked by 3 people


  8. Don Massenzio
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 10:50:33

    Reblogged this on DSM Publications and commented:

    Check out the book, The Plight Of The Gingerlily, by Jim Webster, featured in this post from the But I Smile Anyway blog.

    Liked by 3 people


  9. patriciaruthsusan
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 09:55:53

    Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:

    A close call for Benor, Tallis, and Mutt but evidence has been acquired. Also, two books by Jim Webster filled with entertaining and humorous tales.

    Liked by 3 people


  10. jenanita01
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 09:00:26

    This is an unusual method of introducing a new release but has really been great! I can see Benor becoming as popular as Tallis, I love them both…

    Liked by 3 people


    • Ritu
      Feb 26, 2019 @ 12:41:34

      I love this idea!

      Liked by 3 people


    • jwebster2
      Feb 26, 2019 @ 20:47:04

      The amusing thing is, is that Benor was first on the scene and Tallis appeared as a ‘supporting’ character…
      As Mike Rose-Steel who was editing the stories is a poet, he asked if he could borrow Tallis, to write some poems for him. This he did and between us we produced Lambent Dreams which is some of Tallis’s poetry with some ‘commentary’
      Then, because he was a ‘published author’ Tallis obviously had to have a blog.
      The minute I gave him a blog he’s taken over, and now there are two novellas, five novella length collections of his stories, and of course Lambent Dreams out there. I’ve got two more collections of his stories I want to publish in the next few months 🙂
      So now poor old Benor plays second fiddle to Tallis, but such is life.

      Liked by 3 people


  11. jenanita01
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 08:56:35

    Reblogged this on anita dawes and jaye marie.

    Liked by 2 people


  12. willowdot21
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 08:44:05

    I have really fallen for theses stories they are brilliant aren’t they. ,💜

    Liked by 4 people


  13. RAJA TAKSI TRAVEL GROUP tlp 0813 4500 6566
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 08:37:00


    Liked by 2 people


  14. jwebster2
    Feb 26, 2019 @ 08:03:56


  15. Trackback: Delicate work – Tallis Steelyard

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