Life In A Conversation #booklaunch

So it’s nearly ready to go. On 28th February my latest compilation of short fiction is available.

Here’s the little link to take you to it.

To reward you for even coming this far and reading this, I’ve put all my other books as free on Amazon Kindle from 28th thru 1st March. All of those brilliant, witty, funny, hard biting books of mine. Maybe. Some anyway.

So fix that date in your minds and go and take out a bite.

Here….

And if you really prefer the real thing in your hands then click the contact button above and we’ll see if I can’t send you a hard copy on the same terms. Just try and make it on Free Day – that’s the 28th February – 1st March.

Enjoy and thank you for all your splendid support.

And Dog will be grateful too… if only he could see behind him…

And here’s one of the stories to stimulate your purchase buds..

Whether Weather

Crichton Jolly pulled back the curtains. Approximately one hundred and twenty-seven million other people were opening shutters, raising blinds or throwing back doors at the same time. And wherever they were in the world what greeted them was the same: a sepia sky, no clouds, no sun, no wind.

Was Crichton the only one to blink, mouth agape? He was, after all, the senior meteorologist at the London weather centre. When he went to bed the forecast – no, the damned certainty, he thought – was an overcast drizzle of a day; certainly not this, this nothing. And what was with “sepia”? When did the sky do sepia without egregious quantities of sulphates?

He rang the on-call manager. ‘Jim? It’s Crichton.’

Crichton chewed, alternately, a bacon brioche and his fingers while he listened to Jim explain the uniformity of the weather. ‘Thing is, Crichton, it’s not really weather at all. It’s empty. No wind, rain, snow anywhere. And…’

‘Yes?’ Crichton hated pauses like this. The eventual answer usually triggered his IBS.

‘There’s no sun either.’

‘No sunshine?’

‘No, I mean the sun’s gone. We can’t see it. No one can.’

*

Far away – if only in the sense that there was a distance between where Crichton stood squinting at the dull outside and where Vent, supreme god of all weather, resided, which no one except Vent could ever cross – Vent enjoyed his moment. Gods shouldn’t hate mortals, but he hated Crichton in a way that he had never hated anyone, including that utterly irritating god of the earth, Quake. Crichton had undermined Vent’s whole raison d’être. He had perfected forecasting to such a level that there was no uncertainty anymore. The forecasts were always right. Not like bloody Quake, he thought. No one yet knew when one of his volcanoes would blow or tectonic plates clash. Why hadn’t those pesky mortals spent their hard earned on that? After all, while Quake massacred hundreds, thousands, he, Vent, only blew away a few, froze a few more and helped the demographics with a cull of the elderly in a heatwave or two. Certainly nothing on the scale of that egocentric psycho, Quake.

For months now, the forecasts had been spot on and whatever Vent tried – shifting round the Gulf Stream, redirecting El Niño – that smug sod was always a step ahead.

Vent stared at the poster on the wall: God Rules. Rule one. A god is always capricious. How can you be capricious if the bloody mortals can foresee what is coming? That was the question that had beaten inside his head over the last weeks.

And then it came to him. Take away the surprise. Everyone relied on there being weather. So what if the question they asked was not “what weather?” but “whether weather?”

‘Vent? The Boss wants a word.’

Vent scrapped some ambrosia off his tie and straightened his toga. He could do with losing a couple of pounds but, damn, he still looked good for a god. Not for him the craggy look and unkempt hair. Being out in all weathers had taught him young to moisturise, leaving aside the tangles in your hair during tornados if you didn’t keep it neat. He pushed open the door and entered into the Magnificence.

‘Hi, Boss. All good?’

He’d imagined this conversation many times. The praise. The astonishment at the idea, so novel, so simple and…

‘What in all my universes were you thinking? No weather. NO WEATHER? We need uncertainty, fear, goddammit they can’t get used to us.’

‘But they know what’s coming. They have worked out…’

‘Listen, sonny. If you can’t get them back to awe or at least a decent level of wonderment, we’ll need to rethink your current position. The tooth fairy is getting on…’

Vent goggled.

‘And if you can’t then I’ll step in. Let’s see what they think about plagues of toads and raining hellfire, huh? Now sort it, okay?’

*

Crichton studied the data. Everywhere it was the same. It couldn’t be, but it was. He made a few calls. Rivers seemed to be full despite no rain. Crops grew without the sun and even the wind turbines spun with no wind. It was madness but a madness that meant only one thing. Redundancy. After dedicating his life to precise forecasting…

‘Mr Crichton. A call on line one. He’s very insistent.’

‘Who is?’

‘A Mr Vent. Says he’s, erm, the god of the weather and you need to speak.’

‘Gloria, I really don’t need crank calls…’

Inside Crichton’s head a voice sounded. ‘Mr Jolly? Look, sorry, I thought you’d prefer the phone, but we can do telepathy if you wish. It is quicker only…’

‘What the Hades? Who’s doing this?’

‘Vent. We’ve not met, but I’ve watched you for years. You’re a clever bugger, aren’t you? And…’

‘Vent?’

‘Yes. Do you like it? It’s French but also means…’

‘How are you in my head?’ Crichton looked up at Gloria, whose face indicated imminent astonishment with terrified intervals and the occasional gust of incredulity. He rapped his head. ‘A voice. In here. I…’

Gloria nodded, turned and left. Crichton blinked. How rude.

‘Not rude. I asked her to go. She won’t remember this. It may make her feel a little peaky.’

‘Peaky?’

‘More insane actually. Now…’

‘How are you in my head?’

‘You don’t need to speak. I can read your thoughts.’

‘My thoughts? Like…’

‘Like you regret not bidding for Claudia Schiffer’s garter that time.’

‘I never… I mean, it’s not like…’

‘No, your wife wouldn’t understand, would she?’

‘Okay, look, where are you? This is some trick so you have to be somewhere. Is it the camera on my computer? Is that….’ Crichton leapt back as his screen burst into a dizzying set of images, from pictures of him as a child to when he went to university including the one of him on Bournemouth pier comparing sizes with Reginald, which he was sure he’d burnt.

‘Reggie has the negative.’ Vent’s voice couldn’t hide the snigger.

‘Has? You mean still?’

‘’Fraid so. I can get rid, if you want.’

‘Really? I mean it was just a youthful prank and…’

‘No, she wouldn’t understand, would she?’

‘Who are you?’

‘Gloria told you.’

‘She did?’

‘Yes. I run the weather.’

‘Ha, well, you buggered that then, didn’t you? What weather? It’s all gone.’

‘I know. I did that.’

‘You did? But why?’

Crichton heard a sigh. It sort of echoed around his head. Trying to focus on where the voice came from made him feel pretty dizzy. ‘Maybe we can do the phone.’ He held the handset to his ear. Vent’s voice sounded far away.

‘You are too good, Mr Jolly. What I don’t need is you knowing the weather exactly. You need to reinstall incompetence.’

Crichton hadn’t wormed his way up through the civil service without an instinct for when a superior was in a panic. ‘What if I don’t?’

‘Frankly? We’re both out of a job. Crichton, we need each other. But mostly I need you to get it wrong. And you need your employers to think they still need you.’

‘But if I go back to the old days, they’ll think I’ve failed.’

‘Not necessarily. We could cheat.’

‘Cheat?’

‘Yes. Look, what if we agreed you’d get it right but let them know there was a bug in the system. I then throw in a storm, something nasty in Cromarty, you tell them you need to make some coding changes and off we go.’

‘It could work only…’

‘Only…?’

‘Can you, erm, sort out Bournemouth this August? Mrs Jolly is rather unforgiving if I can’t choose a sunny week for our holiday.’

‘You could buy her that garter?’

‘Let’s just stick to some old-fashioned sunshine, shall we?’

‘Okay, Mr Jolly, you have yourself a deal.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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44 Responses to Life In A Conversation #booklaunch

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Dang Nabbit, now he tells us, I already have all the books 😜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Darlene says:

    I hope you sell many books to entertain the masses!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Life In A Conversation #booklaunch | Annette Rochelle Aben

  4. Congrats on the book launch–that’s exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Smith says:

    Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Erika Kind says:

    You are amazing me, Geoff! Another book is about to be published. Congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on the book, Geoff. Liked the short story. Quite funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on the new book launch tomorrow, Geoff. You’ve beaten me to it yet again. Did I already say that I love the cover?
    Don’t forget the door to my blog is always open if you want some extra promotion for the new book. I know I could reblog your post, but I don’t do reblogs anymore. I’ll leave it with you. Just contact me if you’d like to take over my blog for the day.

    Like

  9. The door is open for all your books, Geoff, so feel free to send anything over. You’re always welcome to write guest posts or do some promotion over at my place. I’ll leave it with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations, Geoff. Well done on another book. I love this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congrats on the book launch, Geoff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well done, well done! I just know it will be another fabulous collection.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ritu says:

    Already preordered 😄
    Congrats in advance!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Life In A Conversation #booklaunch | willowdot21

  15. Congrats on your new book, Geoff. That’s exciting. And a great story to tease us all with. Wishing you the best of luck and many sales!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Geoff Le Pard’s next release is available to download tomorrow…and to celebrate, Geoff has put all his other books free until March 1st…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    New Release AND Freebies available NOW 👍😃

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Congratulations! Already pre-ordered. Will share around. Best of luck with this. Looking forward to reading another collection from you as the first two were brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Reblogged this on writerchristophfischer and commented:
    A witty writer and wonderful man – new book out and free books offer today – do check them out. Highly recommended!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Mick Canning says:

    Great stuff, Geoff!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. olganm says:

    Congratulations and many thanks! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Congratulations on the book launch, and best wishes for the weekend. Michael

    Like

  23. Norah says:

    Congratulations on the launch, Geoff. I already have my copy and am looking forward to reading it. I wish you success (i.e. many happy readers).

    Liked by 1 person

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