One Character To Another

2017-04-24 to 28_Symphony o Heart Strings
T E Hodden has provided this insight to one character in  A Symphony of Heartstrings.
you will have to read the novel to work out which character wrote this letter, as it is a “bonus” – it is not in the novel.

From: Barbary, London.

To: CL9

Subject: Worrying anomaly.

Right, there is no easy way to say this, but there is something wrong with the Loom.

For any auditors reading this, I will assume you know exactly as much as everybody else who tells me how to do my job, which is to say I am going to assume you have trouble finding your own buttocks with both hands and a diagram. The Loom is the web of emotions and relationships that binds the mortals together. Every emotion and action echoes through the web. There are threads of light and magic that links you to every other life you have touched.

Assuming you were mortal. At some point.

The music of the Loom is the symphony of the city. For weeks now there has been a little romantic melody surrounding a girl called Jenny. Nice girl, as it happens, a librarian, born with cerebral palsy, but flourishing. Sweet, kind, and pretty. Her music swells, all strings and brass. That should mean she is meeting somebody who resonates with her. But it never sets. It drops away before it reaches a crescendo. I don’t think this is an accident. I think somebody is manipulating the Loom.

With me so far? Good. Then you are probably asking why somebody doesn’t investigate. They did. Opal had one of his agents, Bob, investigate, and… I am going to remain polite and suggest this is “a worrying anomaly” and not “an absolute shambles.” But… You understand there are only really three rules to what the agents are meant to do? “Help people find life, nudge the world towards harmony, and don’t be seen.” The third of those being somewhat important.

Was it really too much to ask, that Bob not throw himself at the poor girl and introduce himself? We have mortal peeping behind the curtain. This is never, NEVER, a good idea. Do you know how many times this has ended well? NONE!

Opal, you need to get your house in order.

Purchase From Roane Publishing

About T.E. Hodden

T. E. Hodden trained in engineering, and works in the rail industry. He writes as a hobby, when he is not walking the Kent coast, looking for forgotten nooks and crannies of history and folklore.

T E Hodden can be found at Facebook


Release: Symphony of Heartstrings

2017-03-24 to 28_Symphony o Heart StringsA Symphony of Hearts

A Paranormal Romance

by T.E. Hodden

Released 24th April, 2017

Publisher: Roane Publishing

Return here for a blog post of Tom’s,
on 26th April


Time for a practical demonstration…

I step into a sandwich shop. It is busy with the lunch hour rush. Jimmy sits at one of the tables, staring into his book, and trying not to think. He is a heavy guy, big and round with jowls and a frown. His connection to the Loom is worn thin, and a lot of his strings play sour, dull, notes. He is nearly forty, but has never been kissed and never known that warm fuzzy glow in his chest.
What he has known is shame, self-doubt, and fear. Whenever he has felt his heart crack open, he has been trained to think it is unnatural and shameful. People like him were the butts of jokes, when he was a kid. Most the people he hang around still use “queer” and “gay” as a shorthand for worthless and disgusting. He has spent too long burying his feelings, and now believes that they make him less of a man, and less of a human..

There is a girl at his office who likes him. She is friendly and flirty. He responds politely, but is so convinced of his self-image that he thinks she is quietly mocking him. He sees no malice in her, but he thinks there is gentle teasing at his expense.

Kelly is in the queue. He is waiting on a chicken and avocado baguette to go with his bottle of soda. He is thirty-nine, tall, burly, and jolly. He has a kind laugh and gets on with everybody in the office. He recognises Jimmy. They bump into each other in the office kitchen, making coffees. They talk about cricket and football while waiting on the kettle.

Jimmy nods for Kelly to join him. They joke about the latest email from head office. The “Fair culture flowchart” is a policy that spends three thousand words telling them, in essence, not to be dicks.

Neither men see me standing by their table. I pluck the string that binds them. It plays a sweet note, made heavy by Jimmy’s doubts. I knock his drink into his lap. Jimmy squawks in surprise and Kelly drops to his knees, mopping at Jimmy’s lap with napkins. Jimmy panics at the touch.

“Hey. Let me.” Jimmy laughs a little. “If you don’t mind where you put your hands, you will do something you will regret.”

I stoop down to Kelly’s ear and whisper, “Will you?”

Kelly gives a dirty laugh. “I wouldn’t regret it. Would you?”

For a moment they hold each other’s gazes.

Meet Bob. Bob is the guy between the lines of every love story you ever met. The lucky chance, the twist of fate, the astounding coincidence that sets sparks flying. Never seen, but always there.

Today Bob is assigned to help Jenny find love. But there is something more than bad luck working against the quirky librarian. Bob might have to save her life, before he can help her find love.

And he can’t do that from the shadows….

Purchase Here:
Roane Black on White

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About T.E. Hodden

E. Hodden trained in engineering, and works in the rail industry. He writes as a hobby, when he is not walking the Kent coast, looking for forgotten nooks and crannies of history and folklore.

Tom Hodden can be found at Facebook

Cover Reveal: In Gray

cover_In Gray

In Gray

by Sara J. Bernhardt,

to be released July 10th,  2017

After a car accident causes Daisy Carmichael to see the future, she is plagued by not only the things she sees but the deadly secrets of the young man who saved her life.

About Sara J. Bernhardt

Sara J Bernhardt is an author and poet who has been writing since a very young age, and is a winner of several poetry and short story contests. It is clear that Bernhardt writes in a realistic tone while still creating the enthralling feeling of fantasy. Her writing puts readers in a world that they will truly love to be a part of. While the writing is edgy and catching, it is also not too complex, which makes it a comfortable and enjoyable read for everyone.

Sara can be found at… 
Stories to Take You Away and Facebook

Cover Reveal: “Umbra’s Shadow”

umbras-shadow-coverGot a problem that needs a kick-ass mercenary to fix it? Merc’s your shapeshifter.
It’s been open season on changelings—human/faery hybrids—until word gets around: someone’s got their backs.
Merc relies on her unique shapeshifting talents to defend the poor and disenfranchised hybrids living on the fringes of a modern-day Hudson valley city. Perhaps her past spurs her to help—orphaned, unable to remember her parents or her original form, forced to survive alone until a kindly Changeling couple takes her in.
But Merc also dreams of escaping the poverty and rescuing her boyfriend from the environment that feeds his addictions.

Dúl, a mysterious and seductive full-blooded  fey, seems to offer Merc the way out. But the job he proposes will plunge her into the political wasp nest of the Dreaming World and its fey courts. Dúl hires her to rescue the female lieutenant of the Shadow Court’s king.
But Morgan isn’t the only full-blood that’s disappeared. Nothing is what it seems. A hidden player is capitalizing on the animosities within the four courts, and Merc must solve the puzzle before anyone else falls victim. Her investigation exposes the web of betrayals and lies ambushing the courts from without, or maybe from within.

No one could defeat this conspiracy alone. Merc must suppress her solitary nature and learn to work with a team, while Dúl enters into a bitter alliance with his most hated enemy. Amid this treachery, the magnetic attraction between Merc and Dúl deepens into a forbidden bond they are powerless to deny.

Even if she unravels the chaos plaguing the Dreaming, can she handle the truth about the full-blood she’s fallen for?

Umbra’s Shadow,
a Contemporary Fantasy by Andrea Stanet
Roane Black on White

Release Date: March 13, 2017

Keywords: Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy, Shapeshifter, Mercenary

Interview with Carla, of Caught Between Worlds

I wanted to know more about Carla, the mother of the child ghost, Steven.
Between August 15th and 22nd, I was allowed to speak to her for a brief time.

Carla, may I ask you…how important was young Steven in your life? What did having him around mean to you?

Steven was my son, my baby. I loved him deeply.
He brought me happiness.

Did you ever want to have more than one child?

Yes. I wanted more children, but during my pregnancy I had health issues, and Jack didn’t want to take any risks.

People who talked about “seeing Steven” in ghost form angered you…did Steven ever appear to you?
Tell me why you seemed to ignore him when others saw him?

I was in Steven’s room when I had a vision. I screamed, flung toys at it, and cursed Jack.
I never saw the vision again, but I often hear Steven’s soft voice telling me to stop crying.

Why did stories about his appearances upset you?

Why would my son appear to others, to strangers?
I’m his mother – not them.
I cared for him – not them.

I miss him so much…

At that point, as her tears were welling, her time with me was cut short. I was asked to leave.

Caught Between Worlds, by G P Gadbois

Caught Between Worlds_cover

Caught Between Worlds

A Contemporary Romance / PNR

By G.P. Gadbois

Gabrielle and three college friends must deal with a temporary setback when they are stranded in St. Clair, USA.
Her holiday unravels in a series of exhilarating events.

Her salvation, handsome deputy Brady, succeeds in keeping her safe, and captures her heart.

Deputy Richard Brady’s peaceful life ceases when Gabrielle shows up at his door.
It is his duty to keep the charming Canadian safe from the life threatening supernatural activities, but his personal motives frighten him more than the danger itself.

Will love conquer and bring them together after Gabrielle returns home?

Publisher: Roane Publishing : Released: August 15, 2016
(I had the pleasure of editing this title)

Masked Hearts – Authors’ Interviews

Masked Hearts – Authors’ Interviews

I worked with all five authors who wrote for Masked Hearts,
2016-03-16_Masked Hearts Cover Revealand through our emails bouncing back-and-forth fell in love with their talented works. Each is so individual, even under the umbrella of the titular theme, I could not settle on any single question to do justice to each author and her story.

So instead of asking the same one or two questions of all the authors, I sent out a list and said “Pick any three”. Here you’ll gain an insight into each author, revealed by their choice of questions as well as the answers given.

Thank you, all…

Dana Wright — Affinity

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? (If you write more than one… How do you balance them?)
    I do write in more than one genre and to be honest it is a challenge to keep them balanced. Under another pen name, I write erotic romance and since things have taken off it has been a crunch to keep up with my day job and both writing styles.
    As to the why…I believe people are more than one sided. I love to watch different kinds of movies and read all sorts of books. It makes sense to me that I write romance, horror, YA and erotic romance because I love to do it. You might even occasionally find me writing a picture book or poetry. Words are fun.
  2. How do you feel about e-books vs. print books?
    That’s a good question. E-books have opened up an entirely new world to both authors and readers. I work in a bookstore, so I see both sides of the coin. As a multi-published author, e-books have helped me achieve a dream.
    But there is a certain type of reader who will only pick up physical books in a bookstore and will never embrace digital media. It can be a challenge to harness both, but that is my goal. I will continue to work on my digital material but I also have goals to get my books into bookstores.
  3. You’ve already done interviews…:What question do you wish someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? “Oh wow. I think I would love for someone to ask for a longer novel based on the story in the book. “
    3a And…your answer?
    I loved it [the story], so the answer would be ‘yes’.

Claire Devon — Water Woman:

  1. How do you feel about e-books vs. print books?
    As a hybrid author with Kindle on my phone, I appreciate the ease of e-books.
    As a person of “a certain age” who enjoys the visceral feel of a book, I prefer paperbacks. There is room for both and both have merit. It’s easier to lend your paperback around to others (if you can bear to let it out of your sight).
  2. Of all the books or shorts you have written, which would you most like to see adapted for the screen?
    Without question, the first in my Elementals’ Challenge series called “Fire Danger.”
    2a How would you adapt it?
    It would not be hard, since it is set in today’s world with an overlay of the paranormal, and the FX are already there for flying people, fire beings, dragons and other creatures. The challenge would be in properly capturing the love story between the two main characters, while still imparting the sense of danger that the world building creates in the book.
  3. You’ve done many interviews…What question do you wish someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
    “Why did you choose the location you chose for “Water Woman?” What made you choose the types of creatures you chose instead of wolves/vampires, etc.?”
    3a And…the answer?
    I noticed about a year ago I was keeping in my comfort zone about certain locations. I also have seen a tendency for the same sort of paranormal types to surface again and again in our literature. It is a big world out there with many types of interesting beings and I wanted to tackle those. That’s why you’ll see paranormals in my work which you’re less likely to see in others. I hope the reader likes what I’m trying to do.

Sharon Hughson — Duty Or Desire

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? (If you write more than one… How do you balance them?)
    I have published works of women’s fiction, sweet romance, young adult fantasy, non-fiction Bible studies and devotionals, and now fantasy romance (as well as poetry). My preferred genre is young adult fantasy, but writing romance comes naturally to me since that is what I read the most of for YEARS.
    As for balancing all these…I’m still working on that. At the moment, I try to focus my novel writing skills on young adult fantasy since it’s where I want to be.
  2. Of all the books or shorts you’ve written, which would you prefer a reader to read first, in order to “get” you and your style?
    I think the story “The Demon Was Me” (coming out in October in Month9Book’s In The Beginning anthology) is where I would love readers to start. It is my only published young adult story. It is a dark biblical retelling I set in a dystopian world. Readers can see what I want to accomplish with my written words through this story.
  3. You’ve done many interviews…What question do you wish someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
    “Isn’t fiction all about entertainment? Why do you choose to entertain rather than educate?”
    3aAnd…the answer?
    As an educator, I realize that the best way to teach someone is to get them having fun first. Do I hope my stories entertain readers? Yes. But I also hope they will see the deeper messages embedded in the theme and subtext. In the case of “Duty or Desire,” one of my themes states we give one of these two things top billing – duty for me since I was taught to finish the work first before I could play. However, true contentment is a balance of both, although perhaps not in equal measure. All of my stories have more than one subliminal message.

Sheryl Winters — Feather Fall

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
    The story chooses me. First comes the vision, the images of certain characters. These “people,” could be swimming or dancing or just talking over coffee. My job is to find out why they are doing what they are doing, then the story begins to evolve and the story becomes a lovely Jigsaw puzzle. One piece leads to the other until I wake up and find I’ve “fallen in love,” with my story.
  2. How do you feel about e-books vs. print books?
    I love both. E-books are very nice when I’m at work at lunch. I can never settle to just one before I leave the house. Having a handful of books to read at any time, say the airport, the hospital, stuck at work during my lunch hour is an awesome feeling.
    However, some books, usually Fantasy with a touch of Dragons, I want in print. I want to sniff the pages and feel the weight in my hands as I flip through the pages.
  3. You’ve done many interviews…What question do you wish someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
    “If you could meet any one of your characters who would you meet and why?”
    3a And…the answer?
    I would love to meet one of the Ra’von or Draven from Skydreamer, one of the seriously good-looking males from Skydreamer. Prince Ra’von, in particular, would be fun to interview. After all, he’s not only seriously good looking but is the most gentle-hearted man. He’s also a dragon-shifter, and I’d like to know a few things about them. Do they enjoy killing griffons or is it more of a cultural thing? When they are flying, what keeps them up? Magic, wing power, wind velocity, etc.. So many questions that I know he has the answer to.

Nemma Wollenfang — Dragon Law

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? (If you write more than one how do you balance them?)
    I write in several genres: fantasy, historical, dystopian, sci-fi… I find it isn’t a choice as such, the story leads you into those different fields like a dog pulling on a leash. Always though, I like to have a romantic element. Sometimes it is a bit of a balancing act when moving between works and I have to take care not to slip from one style into another. Reading the same genre before starting to write can help set my mind on the right track. Sometimes, though, they cross-over quite naturally, for example, I’m currently working on a historical sci-fi set in an alternative version of Victorian-era London.
  2. How do you feel about e-books vs. print books?
    I’ve always been a print book fan. I like to feel the pages, have my own personal copy, and have books stacked around me. It’s a comfort thing. And when I settle down with a paperback there’s no temptation to flick onto the internet, I can cut the world out and focus only on the book.
    But at the same time I’ve read, and become completely engrossed with, a lot of fantastic fiction that’s only available online or in e-book format. So I think e-books have made fiction much more accessible — but I will always love print books.
  3. What question do you wish someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? “Writers often have to contend with distractions – what are your worst?”
    3a. And…the answer?
    My worst distraction is cats. I volunteer at a local cat rescue and I’ve adopted several of the adorable little monsters. I get nipped, kicked and patted while trying to write, until I relent and pay attention. Several times after leaving my computer I’ve returned to find sudden… additions… to works-in-progress. Always illegible. They can be a BIG distraction, yes, but they can be an inspiration too. It’s been while I’ve been working at the rescue that I’ve had some of my biggest ‘Eureka!’ moments with stories. Several of their names might have also slipped into my fiction too…

Reviewing Chains and Memory, by Marie Brennan

‘I turned. I shouldn’t have—I knew that even as I was turning.
BRENNAN-Marie_Chains and Memory
But my skull was full of cotton wool, and the thought came through
too slowly.
The guy who’d been staring at me was just a few feet away. As I turned to face him, he hurled something at me.
It hit me before I could react, square in the chest, and exploded into a burst of powder. I inhaled it, involuntarily—and burning fire traced its way into my mouth, my nose, my throat, my lungs…setting every nerve ending on fire.’

This, the third in Ms Brennan’s futuristic and magical series THE WILDERS – following Welcome To Welton (Book 0) and Lies and Prophecies (Book 1), will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of her followers and all readers of magical fantasy. I wish I had read the first two in the series before reading Chains and Memories, as it does assume the reader has some familiarity of the world in which it is set—

A world of the far future, in which peoples with magical powers are accepted among the ordinary populace, providing the government has them firmly under control. But parallel to this world is a real magical world, in which those with uncontrolled powers are of two kinds – each with their own agenda.

Our protagonist is Kim, born without powers, but taken by the Otherworld in her teens and turned into a half human, half sidhe.  Her mother has done her best to shield Kim from government control.

Until she is attacked, and changed to one with full magic. This part of her past is hinted at, but lays the base for her suspicions and her fears.

While trying to have government control of Wilders amended (as unlike others, she was fully normal for her childhood, thus never going through the training of wilder children) she comes up against the prejudice of the normals, including her mother’s. She works and takes up independent training in magical skills, and finally is allowed to join the [name it] group of trainee Guardians – Wilders whose skills are used to govern and control forces from the Otherworld.

Julian, another wilder, is driven to have the control device removed from all Wilders, and Kim empathizes with the cause – and with Julian; their relationship develops beyond that of training buddies, infuriating his younger sister, Neeya, only recently released from the wilder children’s training centre.

Events change things, moving rapidly as the political system manipulates the wilder populace, and the two Otherworld peoples seek to take control of the Wilders for their own gain.

Who to trust?
Who to believe – the Seelies or the Unseelies?

And entwined in the magical and political threads of the tale is another, just a s enthralling  – of love and sacrifice.

Published 2015 by
ISBN: 978-1-611381569-0

Cover Art & Design by Averey Liell-Kok and Amy Sterling Canil
(blog followers know I don’t usually mention cover art/design, which  tells you something)

SWANTOWER_For Marie Brennan
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