Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Book #Reviews – Swimming for Profit and Pleasure (The Port Naain Intelligencer) by Jim Webster


I have been enjoying my first venture into the world of Tallis Steelyard and other residents of Port Naain, created by Jim Webster… and here is my review of Swimming for Profit and Pleasure (The Port Naain Intelligencer)

About the novella

Benor Dorfinngil learns a new trade, 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.

My review for the book

This is my first venture into this wonderful world of Port Naain created by Jim Webster. I was immediately engaged with the story as we meet Benor Dorfinngil being taken through the steps needed to become a professional diver by his friend Timms. The description of the minimal equipment in use, which is clearly state of the art of its time, clearly identifies that this profession is not for the faint hearted.

Like any good mystery we are introduced to the characters that will play their part on either side of good and evil and although this was my first introduction to the regular cast, I felt I had known them for ages. Following a soiree, Tallis Steelyard introduces us to the mysterious Westfran family who live in Stone Harbour and raises questions about the hard faced women in the family who appear to be in charge. However, work is work in difficult times and first Timms, and when he goes missing, Benor take on a diving assignment in Stone Harbour on behalf of the family, where hidden forces beneath the dark waters tamper with the task.

Many questions are raised about the origins of the Westfran family, what happened to Timms, and what is in the harbour that is so valuable to both the family and the dark shadows beneath the water?

As the mystery unfolds and reaches a climax, it is difficult to put the book down. The author keeps the suspense going throughout the 71 pages with a very exciting climax.

I am looking forward to my next encounter with the characters in this world and I can recommend that you explore Port Naain for yourself.


Read the reviews and buy the book:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07NDWQRVL

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Swimming-Profit-Pleasure-Naain-Intelligencer-ebook/dp/B07NDWQRVL

A selection of other books by Jim Webster

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

Read more reviews and follow Jim on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22998.Jim_Webster

About Jim Webster

Jim Webster is probably 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 SF and fantasy novels.
He lives in South Cumbria.

He has even been cozened into writing a blog, available for perusal by the discerning (or indeed by the less than discerning).

Connect to Jim Webster.

Blog:  http://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jim.webster.10297
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JimWebster6

I am sure you will enjoy the book as much as I did and I am going to be moving on to read The Plight of the Lady Gingerly in the near future…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Jim Webster and Sally Cronin


Welcome to the second of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and the first author with a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega with her latest release – a short story – Memoir of a Mad Woman.

About the book

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds. She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree… But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

One of the recent reviews for the book

JKS  5.0 out of 5 starsDisturbing but well-written March 17, 2019

This short story takes the reader on a journey to the dark side. The place inside a mind that had suffered abuse beyond imagination and how she fought back. This author made me care about the character despite her horrible deeds. The abuse started when she was a young child and even though the author never came out and said it, it was known that this child killed and burned her mother. And, felt no remorse. This carried on through the horrible abuse that was inflicted upon Emma and how she exacted revenge.

This is a well-written story that can be read in less than an hour. It draws you in and makes you feel as if you are there watching the events unfold. You want to scream for justice for her, but justice doesn’t come until she makes it happen. I highly recommend this short story! Be prepared for a chilling read!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MLYP5XP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-Mad-Woman-Vashti-Quiroz-Vega-ebook/dp/B07MLYP5XP

Also by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

Read more reviews and follow Vashti on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122693.Vashti_Quiroz_Vega

Connect to Vashti via her website/Blog: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/

The next book with a recent review the novella Swimming for Profit and Pleasure (The Port Naain Intelligencer) by Jim Webster.

About the novella

Benor learns a new trade, 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.

One of the recent reviews for Swimming for Profit and Pleasure

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and action packed short novella March 22, 2019

I am a fan of Jim Webster’s as I really enjoy his very British humour. In this action packed tale, Benor Dorfinngil is the main character and has a thrilling adventure when he is hired to do some diving by the mysterious and wealthy Westfran family who live in the more rural village of Stone Harbour. We are introduced to the family through Benor’s friend, poet Tallis Steelyard, who was invited to attend one of their soirees and who made it his business to escape from their house as quickly as possible. There do not appear to be any menfolk in the family and the women are all aloof and have a stiff and unyielding way of walking and holding themselves. It is all rather strange.

Benor becomes involved with the family after he takes a job working in a book shop and purchases an interesting box of books, including a 500 year old book written by an ancestor of the Westfran family. It soon becomes apparent that this book holds family secrets and the Westfran women will stop at nothing to get it back.

What has happened to Benor’s friend, Timms, the previous diver hired by the Westfrans and who has suddenly disappeared? What secrets do the harbour hold that it attracts such an unusually high number of male squid and why do the Westfran women all look so similar? Find out by reading this interesting and well written novella.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07NDWQRVL

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Swimming-Profit-Pleasure-Naain-Intelligencer-ebook/dp/B07NDWQRVL

A selection of other books by Jim Webster

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

Read more reviews and follow Jim on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22998.Jim_Webster

Connect to Jim via his Blog http://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/

And finally today I would like to share a recent review for one of my short story collections – What’s in a Name? Volume Two which I was obviously delighted to receive.

About the collection

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.

Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.

Meet Queenie and Rosemary who have both lost their husbands and must face a very different future. One that will take courage and the use of new technology.

Sonia is an entitled princess whose father has reached the end of his tether and Theresa has to deal with a bully in the checkout. Usher is an arrogant narcissist with a docile wife and is used to getting his own way and Vanessa worries about the future of her relationship with her teenage son.

Walter is a loner and is happy with just his dog for company, Xenia is the long awaited first baby of a young couple. Yves is a dashing romeo who has the tables turned on him unexpectedly and Zoe… Well she can see into the future.

In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched

The recent review for the collection.

James‘s review Five Stars on Goodreads Mar 19, 2019

Sometimes the second book in a series or multi-volume collection of short stories doesn’t live up to the first. I can say with certainty that’s not the case with volume 2 of ‘What’s in a Name?’ by Sally Cronin. In this collection of stories of life and romance, following names that start with the letters K through Z, Cronin delivers a plethora of immersive, delightful, and intense characters.

I truly don’t know how she manages to pack such distinct and complex drama in a story that’s usually under ten pages. From the first few lines to the closing words, I was drawn in by each of the tales in this collection. There is something about the power an author chooses in certain words which helps create the proper ambiance for a setting, draw out the intrigue in the plot, and ignite a reader’s passions.

From the descriptions to the connections between a few of the stories (not in terms of characters but themes and approaches to decisions), Cronin provides us with a bevy of situations to consider… how would we react if such a problem found its way into our lives? Would we get revenge? What kind of sacrifices could we live with? What does love mean when it comes with strings?

I highly recommend both collections, as you’ll see some growth and evolution from volume one to two. Now I’ll have to look over her canon of other books to see what might be something else I want to read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0748MLZ1W

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Name-Stories-Life-Romance-ebook/dp/B0748MLZ1W

A selection of my books in E-Version

Read the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

I hope that you are leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

If you are an author and would like to join a bunch of us over on the site MeWe (no ads, not selling of data) you will find some of your favourite authors:https://mewe.com/join/theliterarydivashangout

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the shelves – Swimming for Profit and Pleasure (The Port Naain Intelligencer) by Jim Webster


Congratulations to Jim Webster on the release of not just one novella but two.. The first book is Swimming for Profit and Pleasure (The Port Naain Intelligencer)

About the novella

Benor learns a new trade, 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.

An early review for the book.

The tale starts with a description of squid autopsy procedures.

Then, we find out how Benor learns the skill of deep sea diving, and running a bookshop.

The story soon develops into a ‘Benor needs to find and rescue a friend’ theme.
Luckily, Kara Halon (who works for The Purveyors of Magic) is on hand and joins him for a swim with a difference. Great stuff

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07NDWQRVL

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Swimming-Profit-Pleasure-Naain-Intelligencer-ebook/dp/B07NDWQRVL

And the second book – The Plight of the Lady Gingerlily (The Port Naain Intelligencer)

About the book

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

Head over and buy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07NDXJSD8#

A selection of other books by Jim Webster

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

Read more reviews and follow Jim on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22998.Jim_Webster

About Jim Webster

Jim Webster is probably 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 SF and fantasy novels.
He lives in South Cumbria.

He has even been cozened into writing a blog, available for perusal by the discerning (or indeed by the less than discerning).

Connect to Jim Webster.

Blog:  http://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jim.webster.10297
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JimWebster6

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Jim’s new books. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the Shelves – A Licence to Print Money: The Port Naain Intelligence by Jim Webster.


Jim Webster is celebrating the release of his latest book this month. A Licence to Print Money: The Port Naain Intelligence

About the book

An honest cartographer attempts to steer his way though grasping bureaucrats, bent bookmakers, magistrates who practice performance poetry and a young lady who wishes to end an ‘arrangement.’

Can Benor see justice done? Will Mutt finally meet his match? What do they teach aspiring temple dancers nowadays?

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/licence-print-money-Naain-Intelligencer-ebook/dp/B07DNLCD9V/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/licence-print-money-Naain-Intelligencer-ebook/dp/B07DNLCD9V/

A selection of other books by Jim Webster please visit Amazon to view them all.

One of the recent reviews for Tallis Steelyard and The Sedan Chair Caper.

In this entertaining book by Jim Webster, the reader is treated to the ins and outs of sedan chair racing in Port Naain. Sedan chair racing comprises of chairs, transporting various wealthy ladies of impeccable social standing, borne by fit young men called sedan chair bearers, which raced each other through the streets. The ladies are not at all good sports and all sorts of interesting cheats take place during these races which are bet on by those in the city with a propensity for gambling.

We are introduced to a number of intriguing characters. Mistress Bream is one, an elderly lady whose decreased mobility is depriving her of the fun and social interaction she yearns for. Her various supporters arrange to have a special chair with wheels built for her and Tallis, a poet and the hero of the story, is invited to visit and view her new acquisition. This is the start of an extraordinary tale the results in Tallis seeing Mistress Bream’s son chasing a pair of sedan chair bearers with an axe and being coerced into finding out what has caused this odd behaviour. Tallis’ quest for the truth of the matter leads him to meeting Mistress Graan, the wife of a local gangster, who wishes to be seen as more cultured. Tallis agrees to assist her with hosting a poets soiree and he soon becomes embroiled in her ambitions, including her desires with regards to the sedan chair racing in the city.

I enjoyed the little pieces of poetry that the author wove into the story to enhance it. Once such piece was as follows:

“Who would not stare?
In agitation
When the sedan chair
Comes a cropper
The gyration
Was improper.”

Will Tallis manage to hold a successful soiree for Mistress Graan and help her on her way to social acceptance? Will Mistress Graan achieve her goal of a win in the next sedan chair race? Will Tallis discover why Mistress Bream’s son was behaving so strangely? You will have to read this lovely book to find out.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

Read more reviews and follow Jim on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22998.Jim_Webster

About Jim Webster

Jim Webster is probably 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 SF and fantasy novels.
He lives in South Cumbria.

He has even been cozened into writing a blog, available for perusal by the discerning (or indeed by the less than discerning).

Connect to Jim Webster.

Blog:  http://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jim.webster.10297
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JimWebster6

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Jim’s new book thanks Sally