Tallis Steelyard, Bringing The Joys Of Civilisation #BlogTour

Guess who’s come to visit my blog again, with another blog tour?

Dear Jim Webster is back with three delightful books from his Tallis Steelyard collection, and a special story just for the lucky readers of my blog too!

Justice Of A Sort


It was perhaps a month after I’d arrived back from Slipshade and the whole
episode should have faded from mind. As it was, it seemed determined to
haunt me, like some over-spiced meal eaten too late in the evening. So, for
example, one evening I was at the Misanthropes. I hadn’t actually dined. In
fact I wasn’t entirely sure I would. The money I had earned from my
Partannese adventure had gone, frittered away paying creditors and suchlike.
Thus it was a little disturbing when I had noted a small group of men,
obviously displaced Partannese brigands, in the street. One of them I
recognised from Slipshade, he was the gentleman who won the pie eating
contest. Given I had been the person to hand him his prize and congratulate
him, I was sure he’d remember me. Thus I faded down a side street and hoped that they hadn’t seen me. As I pondered their presence, it struck me that Port Naain has the power to draw people to it. After all, had I not already met Darstep Balstep, previously lord of Slipshade Keep, and now a jobbing poet? It struck me that Balstep had merely arrived early than these others. He was doubtless more focused on his future and had probably stolen a horse as well. I could imagine the small collection of ruffians I had just seen would be initially indecisive with nobody to issue them with orders. It could well take time for them to make their minds up as to what they ought to do.
So I put aside my irritation that the ill-starred ramifications of the
Slipshade episode were still occurring, long after any financial recompense
for my sufferings had been spent. I feel that there is a lesson there for
the young. Given that the unfortunate consequences of your actions will
always be with you, wisdom demands that you think long and hard about your plans. Ensure always you are more than adequately compensated, ideally in advance.
But in all candour I was at peace with the world and was sipping a glass of
moderate wine. I was willing to let the evening pass as it would. I had no
patron to flatter that evening, no recitals that needed arranging, and any
impromptu verses that I might need over the next few days had already been written well in advance. I was there purely to relax, and was hoping to hear some tale or some drollery that I might tweak and work into my own
performances.
Then even as I sipped, I heard a voice cry, “Steelyard, you currish,
crook-pated, codpiece.”
I was somewhat taken aback, had the Partannese ruffians I’d seen in the
street tracked me down already? I looked up, and saw Flobbard Wangil
striding across the room towards me. He looked furious and even as he
approached he snatched a plate from in front of one of the diners and hurled it at me. Fortunately I dodged and it hit Lancet who was sitting in the armchair next to me. He ended up covered in a hot pepper sauce. He leapt to his feet and hurled a pie plate at Flobbard. This latter individual, whilst angry, was not one of those rendered unobservant by his emotion so ducked and the pie plate struck Julatine Sypent full in the chest.
It must be said that Julatine and Lancet do not get on. Part of it is
professional jealousy. Julatine is a good painter, but his bread and butter
comes from painting twee cottages and similar. Lancet is not a bad painter,
(he’s a better painter than he is a poet) and occasionally he too will paint
some quaint rustic scene. His pictures always sell more quickly than do
Julatine’s and will command a higher price.
Even more galling for Julatine is that he is a perfectionist. He will take
days over a piece of work. Lancet will knock the same thing off in an
afternoon. What makes things worse is that Lancet has been known to dwell on this topic in conversation, at length, to Julatine’s obvious irritation.
Between ourselves a lot of the rancour is Lancet’s doing. Whether he
considers provoking his rival to be a piece of performance art I’ve never
thought to ask him, but he brings to it a dedication and a level of
preparation worthy of such an endeavour. As an example, he was walking south of the river and came upon Julatine who had just started to paint a
particularly pretty cottage. Lancet hid to avoid being seen, came back to
the city and demanded my assistance. That evening, armed with paint, we
approached the cottage. It was painted a primrose yellow. The paint Lancet
had acquired as a rather paler yellow shade. So that night, when the
occupier was asleep, Lancet and I painted the front of the house in this
shade. I would paint the plaster, and Lancet would then come along with some white paint which he cleverly used to ‘fade’ and ‘distress’ the yellow.
It was obvious that Julatine must have noticed because in the Misanthropes
early the next evening he was complaining about how the light had changed and given a whole new perspective on colour. Apparently he’d had to redo a considerable piece of his work.
So later that night Lancet and I returned to the cottage. The woodwork was
picked out in black and had obviously been repainted no more than a couple of years previously. We repainted the woodwork so that it was a more faded and washed-out grey. Early the next evening Lancet and I dropped into the Misanthropes but Julatine merely sat at a table glowering at the world and said nothing. After some supper we went back to the cottage with a saw.
There was a young tree standing in front of the cottage. As quietly as we
could, we cut it down. But we felled in very close to the ground, the idea
being that we would camouflage the stump by putting some stone or turf over it. Then it would be as if the tree had never been there.
Unfortunately just as we’d finished, the owner came out. He had obviously
grown suspicious over the past couple of days. We had just hidden the tree
in some scrub and had come back for the saw. He spotted us, shouted, and we fled. He didn’t try to pursue us but I suspect he’d mentioned the incident
to Julatine. My suspicions were aroused mainly because somebody poured a bucket of whitewash over us as Lancet and I stood chatting outside the door of the Misanthropes the following evening.
Still I digress. Flobbard Wangil was inadvertently prevented from
approaching me by the hail of projectiles and insults Lancet and Julatine
were hurling at each other. Others were dragged into the exchange as they
became caught up in things, but finally Flobbard got close enough to be to
attempt to belabour me with a chair. I managed to snatch up a stool from by
the bar and was successfully fending him off with that.
Finally Lancet inadvertently summoned the Watch. It seems that he had
managed to irritate a number of those present in the Misanthropes, and they ganged up on him and threw him out of the window, and he landed on two watchmen passing below. They burst in upon us. To be fair they were too wise to ask a silly question like, “What’s going on?” Instead they got down to the root of the matter by asking, “So who started it all.” Somewhat to my surprise everybody pointed at Flobbard and me.
Thus, protesting our innocence, we were arrested and given the day had been hectic, from a judicial point of view, we were led straight before
Malanthon. The clerk read out the charges, which were largely affray in
several of its forms. Then the clerk asked Flobbard what had happened.
Flobbard brought up the story of the Slipshade expedition and how I’d
abandoned him there. The clerk then asked me for my version. I recounted the story as well, but stressed that I had abandoned him because I had assumed he had stolen the stones and secreted them within his person. The clerk glanced at Malanthon and attempted to sum up. “So you, Flobbard Wangil, are angry because thanks to Steelyard here you spend three weeks in a cell with only a commode and a selection of laxatives for company?” Flobbard nodded.
“And you, Tallis Steelyard, handed Flobbard Wangil over to the authorities
because you believed he had the stolen gems?” I too nodded.
At this point, Flobbard burst out, “But I didn’t have the gems, I never had
the gems, I never touched the gems.”
This rather shook me. Flobbard’s tones were not the whining of a petty
criminal caught playing a game too rich for him. He spoke with the voice of
an honest man (in this matter at least) who was exasperated beyond measure at being accused of a crime he had not committed. To be fair to him, if a three week diet of laxatives had not produced the stones, then I had to face up to the fact that he had probably never had them.
Malanthon made some notes and then looked at us. Flobbard just shook his
head. I could see his point, he didn’t feel particularly guilty.
Malanthon looked at me. I cleared by throat. “I think I owe Flobbard an
apology.”
That got a smile from Malathon so I turned to Flobbard. “I’m sorry Flobbard. I was obviously wrong.”
He was obviously in a state of shock, I don’t suppose anybody had ever
apologised to him before. He shook my hand, and we both turned back to
Malathon. The clerk read out from the piece of paper that he had been given.

“Tallis Steelyard is to apologise to Flobbard, and is to also organise a pie
eating contest in which Flobbard can participate.”

And now we’d better hear from Jim Webster.


So here I am again with another blog tour. Not one book but three.
The first is another of the Port Naain Intelligencer collection. These
stories are a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories. You can read them in any
order.

On the Mud. The Port Naain Intelligencer
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mud-Port-Naain-Intelligencer-ebook/dp/B07ZKYD7TR
When mages and their suppliers fall out, people tend to die. This becomes a
problem when somebody dies before they manage to pass on the important
artefact they had stolen. Now a lot of dangerous, violent or merely amoral
people are searching, and Benor has got caught up in it all. There are times
when you discover that being forced to rely upon a poet for back-up isn’t as
reassuring as you might hope.

Then we have a Tallis Steelyard novella.


Tallis Steelyard and the Rustic Idyll
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZKYMG1G/
When he is asked to oversee the performance of the celebrated ‘Ten
Speeches’, Tallis Steelyard realises that his unique gifts as a poet have
finally been recognised. He may now truly call himself the leading poet of
his generation.
Then the past comes back to haunt him, and his immediate future involves too
much time in the saddle, being asked to die in a blue silk dress, blackmail
and the abuse of unregulated intoxicants. All this is set in delightful
countryside as he is invited to be poet in residence at a lichen festival.

And finally, for the first time in print we proudly present:


Maljie, the episodic memoirs of a lady.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZKVXP24/

In his own well-chosen words, Tallis Steelyard reveals to us the life of
Maljie, a lady of his acquaintance. In no particular order we hear about her
bathing with clog dancers, her time as a usurer, pirate, and the
difficulties encountered when one tries to sell on a kidnapped orchestra. We
enter a world of fish, pet pigs, steam launches, theological disputation,
and the use of water under pressure to dispose of foul smelling birds. Oh
yes, and we learn how the donkey ended up on the roof.

All a mere 99p each!

Get to know a bit about Jim over on his blog here.

And you should check out all the blogs where Jim and his blog tour are visiting!

Sue Vincenthttps://scvincent.com/Friday 8th NovCartographically challenged
Willow Willershttps://willowdot21.wordpress.com/Saturday 9th NovSilent justice
Robbie Cheadlehttps://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/Sunday 10th NovKnowing your profiteroles
Writers Co-ophttps://writercoop.wordpress.com/Monday 11th NovComing clean
Stevie Turnerhttps://steviet3.wordpress.com/Tuesday 12th NovBringing the joys of civilisation
Colleen Chesebrohttps://colleenchesebro.com/Wednesday 13th NovTrite tales for little people
Annette Rochelle Abenhttps://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/Thursday 14th NovA licence to perform
Chris Grahamhttps://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/Friday 15th NovWorking the Crowd
Ashlynn  Waterstonehttps://waterstoneway.wordpress.com/Saturday 16th NovAnd home again
Ken Gierkehttps://rivrvlogr.wordpress.com/Sunday 17th NovNot particularly well liked
Writers Co-ophttps://writercoop.wordpress.com/Monday 18th NovMore trite tales for little people
MT McGuirehttps://mtmcguire.co.uk/Tuesday 19thA poet is always a gentleman
Ritu Bhathalhttps://butismileanyway.com/Wednesday 20th Justice of a sort
Jayehttps://jenanita01.com/Thursday 21stGetting to the bottom of it all


Blast Off with Space Dust by Eloise De Sousa #BlogTour

Hello all! Please join me in welcoming my dear friend Eloise De Sousa for the last day of her Blast Off blog tour for her newest book, Space Dust! For a little review by me, you just need to read down to the bottom!

Hello and thank you for joining me at Ritu’s beautiful page. This is our final stop on the amazing tour Blast Off with Space Dust. I’d just like to thank you all for joining me on this exciting trip through the blogosphere and for spending time visiting all these great bloggers who have been kind enough to host Space Dust.

Let’s get the party started with a final giveaway. How about 10 more free ebooks? Just click on the pic below to receive your free ebook copy of Space Dust.

Remember, there are only 10 available so you gotta be quick to get that winning click!

Click the Image!

It has been an incredible journey. Every stop has given us the opportunity to meet new blogging friends and readers, as well as learn more about Space Dust, its characters and the writing process behind it. I’d like to add a bit more to our last post about striking the right note for readers. When creating an event in the school library where I work, I enjoy adding a little extra by holding treasure hunts and giving away prizes such as word searches and book markers. That way, I know I am catering for my readers and rewarding their continued support. Since I haven’t thought of a way to add a treasure hunt to this tour (which would have been fun and something to think about for the next one), I do have some prizes for you taking part. Please find below a word search created just for Space Dust readers.

WORD SEARCH

Now a little music. We have travelled through space and found some pretty awesome creatures along the way. The only song I can think of that suits this trip is the famous song by Bob Sinclair’s ‘World Hold On’.

For our final celebration, here is a snippet of me reading the Space Dust to the Birch Hill library children who attended the Summer Reading Challenge over the summer holidays. As you know by now, Space Dust was created to help encourage children to participate in the Challenge, to read more about space and, of course, to enjoy the many activities available at their local library.

It’s now time to say good-bye…

Our canoe is packed away and so is the absolute favourite spoon.

Big Ox made sure Little One is asleep, and Mummy will be home soon.

Tomorrow is another day filled with adventure and fun.

Who knows where they might go – maybe the moon, or the sun!

I do know Big Ox won’t be around to play,

so who will help Little One fill the day?

Will Mummy be able to go on a trip to the moon,

steering Big Ox’s canoe with his absolute favourite spoon?

With that in mind, I will bid you farewell.

Let me know what you think of the book;

receiving pics or reviews of the book would be swell!

Find out more about my books or about me, please click on any of the links below:

Eloise De Sousa

Author Page

Amazon

Lulu

Facebook

And there you have it! Eloise’s tour is done… what with a giveaway and wordsearch, you guys are pretty lucky!

But wait… I haven’t finished yet! Here’s my review…

A children’s book needs imagery, and Space Dust has that in spadefuls. Imagine the mind of a little one who has been left at home, by mummy, with no explanation at all.

That’s what happens to Little One, but he’s lucky as he has Bix Ox with him, to take him on an adventure of his own, into space, on his canoe. They visit planets, and see amazing space creatures, collecting space dust on their shoes as they go.

Enjoy Eloise’s beautiful illustrations and poetic words that give the story a wonderful rhythm.

I read this book to the children in my reception class and it it was lovely to watch them react in different ways. The children with English as a second language were engaged by the striking illustrations and the children who had a better grasp of the English language, were awestruck at the thought of space lions and seahorses in space!

They enjoyed it immensely. ❤

Home Truths by Susan Lewis #BookReview #BlogTour @susanlewisbooks #HarperCollins @fictionpubteam

I am absolutely made up to be a part of the blog tour for this book!

Susan Lewis has been a favourite author of mine for many years, and to be asked to be a part of the promotion for her newest release was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up!

Let me tell you a little bit about the book first.

Home Truths

22nd August 2019

The emotional new novel from the Sunday Times best selling author Susan Lewis

Angie Watts had the perfect ordinary family. A new home. A beloved husband. Three adored children.

But Angie’s happy life is shattered when her son Liam falls in with the wrong crowd. And when her son’s bad choices lead to the murder of her husband, it’s up to Angie to hold what’s left of her family together.

How far would you go to keep your family safe?

Her son is missing. Her daughter is looking for help in dangerous places. And Angie is fighting just to keep a roof over their heads.

But Angie is a mother. And a mother does anything to protect her children – even when the world is falling apart.

My thoughts?

I have read a lot of Susan Lewis’s earlier books and was so pleased to be given a chance to read Home Truths as I have always loved her gritty yet realistic storytelling.
And I was definitely not disappointed.
We follow the story of Angie Watts, a woman who is thrust into the life of a widowed mother of two after the tragic murder of her beloved husband.
The loss of her husband is heightened by the subsequent disappearance of her eldest son who has been swallowed up by gang culture and drugs. 
Spiralling into debt, Angie is faced with hard decisions, whether to feed her family or to pay those who are biting at her ankles for their money.
Losing her home, the home her husband had lovingly created for their family, is the last straw.
Until a saviour, or several saviours, enter her life, and help her rebuild her home and life.
It sounds like a total fairytale, but it really isn’t.
This story deals with gang culture, drug addiction, homelessness, mental health issues, grooming of young girls for sex work and loss.
I was gripped.
And I can admit to sitting on my sofa reading, and having to message a book group I am a member of, to say how that moment when you feel your lips turn up slightly, at the prospect of all the downs turning to ups, in a book your reading is my #perfectreadingmoment.
And there were tears in my eyes at moments, of both sadness, but of happiness too.
A must read!

Come and get to know Susan Lewis

Susan Lewis *

Susan Lewis is the bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including her most recent novel the Sunday Times bestseller One Minute Later. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s.

Susan has had quite the career. At 18 years old she got a job at HTV in Bristol and then four years later moved to London to work for Thames. She worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. Susan has lived in Hollywood, where she was neighbours with George Clooney, and the South of France, before moving to her current home in Gloucestershire which she shares with her husband James, stepsons Michael and Luke, and mischievous dogs Coco and Lulu.

For more information about Susan Lewis and her books, visit her website, susanlewis.com

For more posts on the Blog Tour, check below.

* International best selling author Susan Lewis – 9th of August 2018. Picture by Antony Thompson – Thousand Word Media, NO SALES, NO SYNDICATION. Contact for more information mob: 07775556610 web: http://www.thousandwordmedia.com email: antony@thousandwordmedia.com The photographic copyright (© 2017) is exclusively retained by the works creator at all times and sales, syndication or offering the work for future publication to a third party without the photographer’s knowledge or agreement is in breach of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, (Part 1, Section 4, 2b). Please contact the photographer should you have any questions with regard to the use of the attached work and any rights involved.

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.

#BlogTour – Jim Webster – Tallis Steelyard – Two more Books!

Time for another visitor!

It’s Jim Webster again, with another of his fantastical tales!

Let’s start with a photo…

Followed by a tale…

Getting Rich Moderately Rapidly
Some people seem to drift into jobs that don’t really suit them. If they’re 
lucky then their lives get shaken up and they finally find themselves where 
they ought to be. Still it can be a traumatic experience and you end up 
hoping that it was worth the effort.
I knew one couple who went through this process. Both were in jobs which 
they didn’t particularly like but weren’t quite sure how they could escape 
from them. One was Roa. She was a young woman who somehow ended up a downstairs maid. Even though it was a large establishments she found herself doing a fair bit of kitchen work as well. Many women quite take to the life and even look back on it with a degree of affection, once matrimony was whisked them away from it. Others frankly loath it and get out as soon as possible. Roa was trapped because whilst she didn’t like the job, her 
dislike wasn’t intense enough to drive her to do something about it.
She was, after a fashion, courted by Erlman. His job was a little 
specialist. He was employed by a legal practice who would hire him out to 
householders worried about the honesty of their servants. Erlman would be
sent to the household and would try and entice the servants into corrupt 
practices. If he succeeded the servant would be sacked.
The problems became apparent when Erlman started to ‘test’ Roa as his 
contract of employment demanded. Firstly he was smitten with her. Secondly, when he suggested some minor peculation, Roa scolded him, not for his dishonesty but for his lack of imagination. Erlman had suggested she add a couple of bottles of wine to the order when the household wanted to top up their wine cellar. His cunning plan would be that they wouldn’t be missed when she spirited them away and they resold them.
Roa pointed out that it would make far more sense to put in an extra grocery order. Rather than just have it delivered, tell the supplier it was for the family’s rural estate and so Erlman and her could hire a wagon, collect the extra and then sell that
As I said, Erlman was probably more than a little in love with Roa at this 
point. So not only was he swayed by her genius, he also saw it as a way for 
him to get out of a job he disliked. Roa put in the order; Erlman collected 
it and then started a grocer’s business, selling produce from the back of a 
wagon. Obviously they couldn’t put too many extra orders on thehousehold
budget because somebody would notice. Roa came up with the idea of putting in extra orders for other households as well. It was all quite informal, Erlman would present his list and whilst that was being fulfilled, then he would present a second, much shorter list. This he asked them to put on another account. He merely commented that as he was virtually passing the door of one establishment on his way to the other, everybody seemed to think it made sense for him to collect the extra. By sounding somewhat ‘put-upon’ he managed to convince everybody.
The system worked remarkably well, they even bought their own wagon, pulled by two horses. Yet eventually the housekeeper in one of the establishments noticed that they seemed to be buying an awfully large amount of carbolic soap (one of Erlman’s best sellers,) and yet could never find any when they wanted it.
Everything rushed headlong to an embarrassing climax. Roa was summoned by the housekeeper to the Master’s Study to discuss matters with an officer from the watch. She managed to slip away and ran to where Erlman should be to tell him that the game was up and they’d better flee. Alas when she found him, he was already under arrest. She was arrested and the pair of them were incarcerated awaiting trial.
Their future looked grave. In such cases the city sells the indenture of the 
guilty party, and they labour in the Houses of Licentiousness, sorting 
through the eggs of shore clams in the great tanks, sorting male and female 
for immediate consumption or further growth. One is always cold and wet, and because the cost of food is deducted from your wages, one is probably hungry as well.
Roa and Erlman were comparatively lucky. Lord Cartin was taking his 
condottieri east along the Paraeba to assist the cities of the upper river 
against the Scar nomads. These savages were raiding south of the river and 
Lord Cartin was contracted to put together an expeditionary force with some urgency. Obviously he had his own men-at-arms and crossbowmen, but he was desperately short of supply wagons. In Partann, one is never short of villages or towns from which to buy supplies. On the Red Steppe and in the foothills of the Madrigals there is no point in attempting to live off the land. Everything you need, you have to carry with you.
So Lord Cartin bought Roa and Erlman’s indenture, on the understanding that their horses and wagon were included. They found themselves indentured as sutlers. They bought military and non-military supplies and attempted to make a profit selling them to the troops.
It was not an easy role to take on. Making excess profits by overcharging 
your customers was dangerous. Lord Cartin disapproved, but even more to the point, so did the customers, and they were heavily armed and often 
belligerent. On the other hand Roa and Erlman soon realised that it was 
relatively easy to purchase their stock at very competitive prices. They 
merely had to ask Lord Cartin to let them have an armed escort when they 
went to restock, and the presence of a dozen truculent crossbowmen soon 
encouraged even the most avaricious wholesaler to reason.
Still, it wasn’t what one would call an easy life. More than once, Scar 
raiders attempted to hit a small relief column they were part of. Erlman 
soon acquired a sword and a crossbow whilst Roa learned to drive a horse 
team with one hand, whilst fending off questing light horsemen with a whip held in the other. They finally paid off their indenture by presenting Lord Cartin with the ponies of three Scar braves who’d attempted to run off the wagon. Two had fallen to Erlman’s crossbow; the third had died under the wheels of the wagon, having fallen off his pony when entangled in the whip.
Lord Cartin asked them to serve out the campaign for wages. This they did, 
before settling in Oiphallarian to set up a grocer’s business.
Strangely enough I know met both of them after the siege of Oiphallarian. 
They’d both survived, Roa had brained a Scar warrior with a dolly peg, and 
Erlman had been appointed captain of one of the many militia companies which were formed to help man the walls. They were in Port Naain, buying a boat load of food to take to the stricken city. Just for old time’s sake, they 
managed to split the cost between the accounts of a dozen wealthy households who might not notice for months.

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.

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.

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/

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