Welcome to the book tour for T.C. Weber’s latest book, a political satire called The Council. Read on for more details!
Publication Date: September 22, 2022
Genre: Political Satire/ Humor
Luther Smith, a newly elected county councilman, is determined to make a difference for his constituents. Unfortunately, he’s ill-prepared for the corruption, incompetence, and lunacy of his fellow councilmembers. Lisa Hogan, a down-on-her-luck single mom and avid naturalist, discovers that developers plan to raze the last tract of forest in the county. Facing a dysfunctional bureaucracy, corrupt politicians, and lazy journalists, Luther and Lisa form a growing bond as they attempt to navigate the legislative labyrinth, mobilize the community, and attempt to save the forest.
“You may think this story is full of absurdity and exaggeration, but I assure you, it is frighteningly close to reality. And that’s precisely what makes this book so hilarious.”
– Local Councilman who was told to remain anonymous by the Ethics Commission
The blonde woman in the back rose from her seat and approached the microphone, pale lips pressed together. She wore tan cargo pants and a green fleece. “Hello. I’m Lisa Hogan and I live at 2355 Whistlestop Drive, Foxglove Estates.” She gestured toward Councilman van Womple. “Is he going to sleep through public testimony?”
Council President Sparks leaned into his mic. “Can someone please wake up Clifton?”
Councilwoman Sutton reached over and jostled van Womple awake. His eyes darted wildly. “Whaa?”
“According to their web site,” Ms. Hogan spoke into the mic, “Cha-Ching Properties, which owns half the land in the county, is planning to develop the Great Woods, our last sizable stand of forest. But that area is zoned for conservation. I came to ask if you know what’s going on here.”
Luther hadn’t heard this before, but the Great Woods were way over on the west side of the county and this was his first meeting. The other councilpersons similarly responded with blank faces, except for Councilman Davis, who looked down and rustled through his papers.
The council president leaned toward his microphone. “Thank you.” He scanned the empty seats. “Anyone else?”
Ms. Hogan remained at the lectern. “I’m not finished.” She scrunched her face and ran fingers through limp hair. “It’s on Cha-Ching’s website—I try to follow what they’re up to. It’s listed as their next big project—The Preserve—an irritatingly ironic name since their sketch map shows houses, stores, and office buildings instead of unbroken forest. You know nothing about it? They haven’t submitted anything or contacted you?”
Sparks looked around at the other council members. Sutton shrugged. Van Womple’s eyelids drifted slowly down again.
Luther decided to find out more. “Did you contact the Planning Department?”
“They said they had nothing on file.”
“Did you contact the developer?”
Ms. Hogan’s eyes narrowed. “They refused to talk to me and don’t respond to emails.”
“Development projects have to be approved by the Planning Department, so keep calling them.”
“It would be nice if Sylvan County posted proposed projects on their web site like other counties do.”
Davis cut in before Luther could respond. “I’ll pass that along. Thank you.”
The woman sighed and marched back to her seat.
Council President Sparks shuffled through a pile of papers. “And now we’ll take up our first order of business. Let me see if I can find it…”
Davis responded, “It’s on the agenda. We’re honoring Boy Scout Troop 1156 for um…?” He looked at the others for help.
“Oh yes,” Sparks said. “Where are they?”
There was no sign of boy scouts in the chamber.
Davis looked around. “Did anyone send them an invite?”
Shrugs all around.
Sparks frowned. “Well, someone find out where they are.”
The meeting secretary closed the Candy Crash game on her smartphone and began scrolling through contacts.
“This is important,” Sparks said. “It’s important to honor the troops.”
The troops? Luther wondered if he’d misheard.
“I was there on 9-11,” Sparks continued. “Saw the towers come down. Right there on my TV. And then I had brunch. Waffles, I think.”
T.C. Weber has pursued writing since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with physics and ecology. His first published novel was a near-future cyberpunk thriller titled Sleep State Interrupt (See Sharp Press). The first book of a trilogy, it was a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook award for best first speculative fiction novel. The sequels, The Wrath of Leviathan and Zero-Day Rising, are also out. These were followed by Born in Salt, a character-oriented alternate history novel, and The Survivors, a post-apocalyptic horror novella. His latest work, The Council, pits a naïve councilman and a down-on-her-luck single mom against greedy developers and a dysfunctional government, to try to save their county’s last stand of forest.
Mr. Weber is a member of Poets & Writers, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, the Horror Writers Association, and the Maryland Writers Association, and has run numerous writing workshops. By day, Mr. Weber works as an ecologist, and has had a number of scientific papers and book chapters published. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Karen and two miniature schnauzers. He enjoys traveling and has visited all seven continents.
Stephen Trevor was a United States Army Air Service officer who worked for British Intelligence in World War I. Steve was a spy, on a mission to find out about the toxic mustard gas that was being developed by Doctor Poison. Captain Steve stole a notebook containing the gas formula and then he took off in a plane to escape from the Germans. His plane was shot down and Steve was saved from drowning by the Amazon princess Diana. Diana had never seen a man before, so she asked Steve if he was one. The plane was destroyed in the crash, but the Amazons rebuilt it and added some of their own magic to it, by making it invisible. It was capable of vertical takeoffs and landings and at Wonder Woman’s disposal whenever she decided to use it. It was made invisible so it couldn’t be tracked when she decided to leave the secret island, thereby giving away its…
This picture shows a large passenger airplane on the ground surrounded by over grown trees.
The foragers were excited with their find.
They attached twines and vines to the wings and nose, dragging the plane into the small clearing in the heart of the forest.
The craft was empty, totally devoid of life, the passengers and crew long gone.
The trees would provide a canopy of protection from anyone flying overhead.
No-one would think to look for it here.
And even if they did, by the time it was stripped of everything of value or use, there would be little left, another unexplained vanishing in what some call The Bermuda Triangle.
He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the heavy lock Like lichen on an old worn stone It was clamped right at the top The idea was convoluted but who was he to disbelieve that she was dumping him no longer tugging on his sleeve Its just because she found out that he had found another lass defense of her emotions an expedition come to pass She was too late to be convinced She’d pay no fee to change his mind The past would soon catch up to him She was sure that he would find For now she would just move on Find a new man for herself She’d take her pain and anguish and place it high upon a shelf
This picture shows a large passenger airplane on the ground surrounded by over grown trees.
*****For any participants that do NOT like restrictions, please feel free to participate in any way you would like. It is great to read the contributions!****
Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.
*Feel free to leave your work completely unedited. I believe it is good to see, especially for new writers, that even very seasoned writers don’t write a perfect first draft.*
Have fun, challenge yourself if you’d like, read and respond to others’ posts.
You have a dinner party and may invite four guests from the following categories one fictional, one dead and one alive, and a naked chef [wearing an apron only but no clothes underneath – or if you wish for whatever reason your chef can be wearing underclothes – pants/top].
Who will you invite to eat, and who will you ask to cook for your dinner party? Sometimes I have to say what comes into my head first so here goes: Fictional Person – Edward Scissorhands Dead – my mom One alive – my daughter (so she can meet her grandma!) The Naked Chef – Shemar Moore aka Derek Morgan from Criminal Minds My mom can cook and make her stuffed shrimp and stuffed mussels! Inspired by I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
Have you ever slept on / in a hammock? I’ve laid in a hammock but I can’t recall if I ever fell asleep. They really aren’t comfortable to me.
Do you find it easy to maintain friendship with other people? Yes, I like being in touch with people and really don’t mind if time goes by and we don’t talk or anything, just like we left off the next time we see each other. I also don’t look for flaws in people so if they’re happy, I’m happy.
Are you a person of ethics? I think so! I am generous and kind and like to help other people. I believe in telling the truth, even when it hurts (or hurts to hear!) I don’t believe there is any reason for discrimination, I believe that people should be treated based on their character, not what we think they should based on their race or religion, etc.
If so, how does that impact your daily life? I get along well with people and can strike up conversation with anyone without feeling uncomfortable.
Are you decisive or indecisive as a person? I think I’m pretty decisive but I falter when I start doubting myself or sinking into a depressive state.
Why do people hold double standards? Because they don’t want to commit to having one opinion. They feel like they have to treat people in different ways so as to not hurt anyone’s feelings or make themselves uncomfortable. It is horrible in my eyes when it comes from someone influential like a teacher or school principal when dealing with kids.
What is your most unhealthiest but guiltiest pleasure and why? Eating candy and vaping are my most unhealthy but I really don’t feel guilty about them unless I sneak something, like candy on my way home that I finish before getting home.
What is your process of writing a new post for your blog? First, I go through and delete my spam, then I read all my comments. Next I go through the reader to see what pops up and then finally go to the sites I get my daily words from and see where that leads me. Usually, it will be some sort of compilation based on a word that strikes me.
If you were asked to create a Top Fifteen Book List holding books that you felt everyone should read at least once in their life and would never regret reading what titles would you include? I can’t think of 15 but here are 9: 1)The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, 2)The Institute by Stephen King, 3)The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond, 4)Behind the Blue Elevator by Felicia Baxley, 5)The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, 6)The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson, 7)Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews 8) Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman 9) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett Frances Hodgson Burnett
How important is it for you to know a person’s real name? I just get super curious. I do like to know what someone’s name is when I am blogging so I can address them by name. But someone like Fandango, who won’t really give his real name, is fine. Yes, I am still curious but it is what it is! I think I get so curious because I like to put a face to what I am reading or responding to. [Be this online, off line, social media or blogging]
When at school what were your top five subjects that you were passionate about? I like math and was good at it, I loved typing (word processors were awesome inventions!), Art was great, I loved Home Economics because that is where we learned how to sew, and maybe English or Chorus. Why was this – what did you love about them? I think I liked these because I was good at them even when they were challenging. Are those five subjects still present in your life today in any form? Math is present everywhere, Typing yes – everything is on a computer, Art – I make miniatures, make jewelry, draw, paint….Home Economics – I love to cook and I sew, and English would correspond with my blogging and Chorus would be me singing in the car!
Are you a photogenic person? I don’t think so.
Are you eager to appear in family or friend snaps? Only the funny ones with filters
Are there many photographs of you from and over the various stages and ages of your life? I think there are plenty but knows
With regard to the paranormal do you choose to not believe because there is nothing to believe or because you feel it is safer to not believe? I believe in the paranormal. I don’t believe there are evil spirits, I think it depends on how a person interacts with the spirit.
Are you a non-believer or a believer?
How are you with meeting strangers/new people who might or could become new friends? I like meeting new people. Is there a process you adopt to identify if they are the right fit for you? I think time is the only way to know. I have tried to feel like someone is a friend too quickly then regretted it because I didn’t really feel we had the potential to become friends.
Well, this certainly looks like a logistical nightmare…
I grew up in Chicago, and from the time I was in high school to the time I left for Atlanta, I used the Chicago Transit Authority’s Rapid Transit system, what they called the combination of elevated and subway trains. Often, I had to carry bulky items with me: luggage, computer equipment, packages to be shipped, packages I picked up, guitars, amplifiers, you name it. In all those cases, the items were reasonably small, and with enough effort and pre-planning, it was possible, albeit not easy, to get them through the station, on board the train, off the train, and out of the other station.
But a lawn mower? I can’t think of a good reason to try and move one of those by subway or elevated train. Why would you even put yourself in a position where you would even be…