Jim Webster’s Done It Again! Two New Books! #BlogTour

Guess who is joining me on a blog tour again?

Good ole’ Jim Webster! And here is a little story for your perusal.

Be careful what you pretend to be. 
I would like to say that when I heard what Garamie was planning, I knew it
wasn’t going to end well. Unfortunately I must confess that at the time I
thought he had come up with an excellent strategy given his obvious
limitations. Garamie wanted to be a savant. He wanted to be looked up to and
respected for his knowledge. Unfortunately he didn’t want to dedicate a
lifetime to study, so he could reap the benefits of his status as a
well-respected scholar in his old age. He wanted the benefits now. I could
see the source of his confusion. Garamie was quite well off. He’d been
through the University here in Port Naain, but like many students he
appeared to have left more muddled and less accomplished than when he
arrived. What university had taught him was that the road to proper
scholarship is hard.
Have you heard the comment, “The easiest way to be recognised as a savant is
to ensure your field of expertise is so tedious that nobody will ever
question you about it?” Garamie took this one stage further. He decided that
he would make his field of expertise so terrible that nobody would ever
raise the subject. Thus, after brief thought, he proclaimed himself a
necromancer.
Traditionally necromancers shun people, daylight, and soap. Garamie was the
exception to the rule, in that he merely wanted the fame, or perhaps more
properly, the notoriety. He had no interest in truly studying necromancy. So
where most necromancers have no social life, Garamie became the socially
acceptable face of necromancy and was invited to all sorts of parties and
social events.
When out and about, he could dissemble adequately when it came to discussing
his dark art. If somebody asked him anything, Garamie would bluff. He could
mix into his conversation mumbled phrases from long dead languages, most of
which he made up on the spot. He found it harder to convince people he was a
genuine necromancer when they visited him at home and discovered that he had
none of the impedimenta of the trade. It seems that to be accepted as a
necromancer, or as any sort of mage, you need a workroom. You need the
paraphernalia. Young ladies, fascinated by him, expected to see the tools of
his trade when they visited his abode. Obviously they weren’t looking for
cadavers in the bedroom, (although one or two of his rather more
‘specialist’ lady-friends gave the impression that this was the sort of
thing they rather anticipated.) 
As I said, he had money. This was a positive disadvantage. If he’d had no
money he could have done wonders for very little. After all, if I want the
skull of a hanged man, I merely ask Mutt and he’ll return later demanding
twenty-five dregs for a perfectly reasonable skull. Indeed it may even come
from a man who was hanged. (In Port Naain the chances are at least
reasonable.) I certainly would not seek out one of the Exulted Purveyors of
the Imperishable Wisdom. Admittedly they would guarantee that the skull came
from a hanged man, even if they had to bring forward the hanging for your
convenience. But on the other hand they’d expect me to pay an alar for it.
It’s the same with cadavers really. I remember the time Lancet and I found a
chap who’d passed out with drink. Lancet painted the fellow’s face so he
looked like a corpse, and we sold his clothes to pay for a cheap shroud. To
be fair, that is common enough, the dead man doesn’t need his clothes any
more, and the money left over after buying the shroud traditionally goes to
paying for a round of drinks for his friends. We then carried the corpse
along Ropewalk on an improvised stretcher. I might have mentioned that it
costs one silver vintenar to book your place on the corpse boat. When the
boat is full they sail out to the west and drop the weighted bodies
overboard for their last rest. It’s considered a charitable gesture to give
a vintenar so that a poor man can make that last journey, and as Lancet and
I tearfully solicited money for the poor deceased we were carrying, we did
quite well. 
Then somebody offered to buy the body off us. I’m not sure why, it wasn’t as
if it was a particularly good body. The owner hadn’t been taking any real
care of it. But Lancet had got our potential buyer up to twenty vintenars.
They’d shaken on the deal and the happy purchaser was about to give Lancet
the money when the ‘corpse’ groaned. I said, probably too quickly, “It’s
just the air escaping.”
Unfortunately at this point the ‘corpse’ tried to sit up. At least one of
the bystanders screamed, Lancet and I dropped the stretcher and ran in one
direction, whilst the putative purchaser ran in the other. The ‘corpse’
staggered forlornly down Ropewalk, struggling to walk in a shroud.
Alas, Garamie was spared this education by his wealth. He merely ordered his
bits and pieces from the Exulted Purveyors of the Imperishable Wisdom. Of
course you have to ask why they sold him the material. It’s obvious to
anybody who talked to him that he wasn’t a serious student of the dark arts.
Perhaps it was merely a case of him being a free-spending incompetent who
differed little from their usual run of customers?  
I once saw Garamie’s ‘workroom’. I found myself roped in because I’d been
passing as a courier’s wagon arrived. At the same point the heavens opened
and Garamie, spotting me, asked if I’d give a hand helping them to unload.
Apparently there was a risk that three bags of ‘grave dust’ might turn into
several buckets full of ‘grave mud.’ 
Garamie had chosen a modest downstairs room as his workroom. It was
naturally poorly illuminated, a small north window providing entirely
inadequate light. He proceeded to fill it with clutter. Several crudely
built tables were piled high with skulls, candles, battered tomes one
assumed were of eldritch lore, and any number of strange crystals. I confess
I looked at the books. Let us be honest with ourselves here, how could I, a
poet and a man of letters, not look at the books? Let us be equally honest,
those I examined were likewise split between recipes collected by cooks and
housekeepers of a previous century, the account books of large estate, the
latest entry at least two centuries previous, and a selection of those
history books one only ever finds in school libraries. I am willing to admit
they were fascinating, I have a weakness for history books that are so old
that the history they cover was virtually current affairs for the writer.
But still, unless necromancy has changed direction in recent years I
wouldn’t have regarded them as particularly macabre. 
Still Garamie must have picked up some more specialist literature. He
acquired habit of dropping esoteric phrases into conversation. I was in the
Misanthropes on one occasion when he said something and the hairs on the
back of my neck stood on end. On other occasions people claim that when he
spoke the candle flames flickered out or the room grew strangely colder. 
I still hold that he hadn’t any idea what he was doing. I do know that he
was in the habit of jotting ‘interesting’ phrases in a pocket book. He
showed me it once. It looked like a collection of nonsense phrases but
should he wish to impress the sort of girl who likes ‘bad’ boys, he’d drop
one or two into his conversation.
We’re not sure exactly what happened to him. The woman who ‘did’ for him
went in one morning to discover he wasn’t about and that the workroom door
was locked. She tidied up a bit and decided that there was a strange smell.
At that point she thought to send for the watch. They broke into the
workroom to find the walls liberally decorated with Garamie. His pocket book
was open on one of the tables but was so liberally daubed with blood that it
was illegible. His death was registered as ‘suicide by means of unthinking
stupidity.’

And now we’d better hear from Jim Webster.

So here I am again with another blog tour. I’ve released two collections of
short stories from Tallis and if you’ve enjoyed the one you just read,
you’ll almost certainly enjoy these.
So what have Tallis and I got for you?

Well first there’s ‘Tallis Steelyard. A guide for writers, and other
stories.’ The book that all writers who want to know how to promote and sell
their books will have to read. Sit at the feet of the master as Tallis
passes on the techniques which he has tried and perfected over the years. As
well as this you’ll have music and decorum, lessons in the importance of
getting home under your own steam, and brass knuckles for a lady. How can
you resist, all this for a mere 99p. 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tallis-Steelyard-guide-writers-stories-ebook/dp/B07
TRXJH8C/


Then we have, ‘Tallis Steelyard. Gentlemen behaving badly, and other
stories.’ Now is your chance to see Port Naain by starlight and meet ladies
of wit and discernment. There are Philosophical societies, amateur
dramatics, the modern woman, revenge, and the advantages of a good
education. 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tallis-Steelyard-Gentlemen-behaving-stories-ebook/d
p/B07TRYZV6C/


So come on, treat yourself, because you’re worth it.

26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Water Under the Bridge ~ Tallis Steelyard Guest Post | rivrvlogr
  2. Trackback: The dark machinations of Flontwell Direfountain by Jim Webster #BlogTour #Fantasy #Stories #Books – Waterstone Way
  3. Trackback: Seven Links 7/20/19 Traci Kenworth – Where Genres Collide Traci Kenworth YA Author & Book Blogger
  4. joylennick
    Jul 17, 2019 @ 11:48:38

    Hi Jim, I would like to have a long conversation with your wife…Questions like: “Does Jim bay at the moon,” or “Does he take the rubbish out for collection,” or “Is he inordinately fond of the colour red?” Oh and lots of other esoteric questions… Unusually entertaining as ever. x (Thanks Ritu. x)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. jenanita01
    Jul 17, 2019 @ 10:10:12

    All I can say is this, Jim must have an army of magical writers scribbling away to come up with all these wondrous stories…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. OIKOS™-Publishing
    Jul 16, 2019 @ 18:20:26

    Wonderful news! Love Jim’s style, but isnt it horrible how productive he is? Than you for remembering Sis! Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  7. Lynn Hallbrooks (@LynnHallbrooks)
    Jul 16, 2019 @ 17:28:33

    The phrase “fake it ’til you make it” doesn’t really apply in this case. Tallis Steelyard has an interesting past and eclectic acquaintances. Thanks for sharing this story with everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  8. Ashlynn Waterstone
    Jul 16, 2019 @ 17:16:47

    Reblogged this on Waterstone Way and commented:

    This latest story of the ongoing #blogtour features a man entangled in something perhaps he shouldn’t have been.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Carol Anne
    Jul 16, 2019 @ 11:53:48

    Awesome! New books! I love books! Well done, Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. patriciaruthsusan
    Jul 16, 2019 @ 11:39:06

    Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:

    First, a tale about an amateur necromancer who went too far. Next, Jim Webster has two books on offer which are described.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  11. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.
    Jul 16, 2019 @ 10:35:15

    Congratulations Jim.. will do a new book(s) promo next Tuesday..thanks for sharing Ritu…hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Trackback: Be careful what you pretend to be. – Tallis Steelyard
  13. willowdot21
    Jul 16, 2019 @ 09:56:36

    Eeeeek life will catch you out 💜😁

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  14. jwebster2
    Jul 16, 2019 @ 06:19:15

    It may well be that not knowing what you’re doing and bluffing can be even more dangerous than knowing what you’re doing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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