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.

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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….

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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

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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