Thursday, August 17, 2017

Promo & Tour: The Chocolatier's Series by Cindy Lynn Speer

Title: The Chocolatier's Wife
Author: Cindy Lynn Speer
Genre/Age: Fantasy Mystery/Adult
Series: Unknown
Publisher: Dragonwell Publishing

A truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.

When Tasmin's bethrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn't have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William's own family, who all resent her kind - the sorcerer folk from the North -- she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose - and he is intent on ruining William's family at all cost.

Title: The Chocolatier's Ghost
Author: Cindy Lynn Speer
Genre/Age: Fantasy Mystery/Adult
Series: Unknown
Publisher: Dragonwell Publishing
SynopsisMarried to her soul mate, the chocolatier William, Tasmin should not have to worry about anything at all. But when her happily ever after is interrupted by the disappearance of the town’s wise woman, she rushes in to investigate. Faced with dangers, dead bodies, and more mysterious disappearances, Tasmin and William must act fast to save their town and themselves – especially when Tasmin starts to be haunted by a most unwelcome ghost from her past…literally.

The Chocolatier’s Ghost is an enchanting sequel to Cindy Lynn Speer’s bestselling romantic mystery, The Chocolatier’s Wife.

At the top of the hill, the snow spun and shimmered in the cruel wind. As she neared it, she slowed. Tasmin didn't want to step into that whirling, dancing wall of snow, but she mentally kicked herself and kept going. Home and warmth, Tasmin. Not so far, now. Just stop letting your imagination draw strange fancies where nothing is.

She crested the hill, and the wind fell silent. The snow fell away, except for one spot, where it swirled and settled, drawing details that glowed faintly in the darkness to become the figure of a woman. Her head turned slowly, looking over her shoulder at Tasmin, and then the rest of her followed suit, the snow falling and lifting and resettling on the curves and folds that outlined the silvery figure. She stared at Tasmin, moving her head this way and that, as if trying to focus on the face in front of her, considering.

The ghost tilted her head, reaching out one hand slowly, making as if she would touch Tasmin. Tasmin backed up a step. The hand was getting closer, and she panicked. No herbs, no amulets would help her, but she did have another talent, thin and unpracticed, but still there.

She raised a fist, palm towards the figure, and opened it quickly, warding the touch away. "Forbidden," she whispered, and a spear of air shattered through the snow. The ghost disappeared, and the world seemed to right itself, the wind died down and everything seemed to be normal.

She stepped carefully around the newly formed pile of snow and continued her walk home. Determined not to think any more about it, she stripped off her clothes and fell into bed, half wondering if her exhausted mind had not conjured the whole thing.

What kind of writer am I?
by Cindy Lynn Speer

I am very much a catch as catch can writer. I start with something that enchants me, a character, a plot idea. Sometimes I hear the first line of the story, and I am able to just sit down and start typing.

The first draft I just write. I try and make sure that every day, when I end, I leave myself in a place where I know where I am going next. I write notes to myself in the text instead of research -- “Check to see if that was how it was done” sort of things or “Need more here later.” Anything that stops me, I try and avoid.

I sometimes use things like Liquid Story Binder to create dossiers when I go through the second draft -- I want everything to be consistent, so as I go I make notes about anything I am worried about forgetting -- Fae hierarchy. Names of wind sprites and what they are like. Little pieces of the character’s pasts that impact the story or may come up later.

Also, during the second draft, I split things up into chapters using Scrivener, because you can keep everything together in the same file, but when the file is opened the chapters are each in their own section. It’s it something that happens automatically, I copy and paste from the first draft document. If it’s a story with multiple view points I color code the chapters so that I can see where I need to add -- I like to switch view points (mostly) at chapter changes and I like to “take turns” with characters for that reason.

The first draft is the skeleton, it’s also where I get the joy of discovery. The second draft is the musculature and ligaments -- I expand the story, I make sure everything flows, that it all makes sense. It’s where I sit down and make sure that things are not rushed through -- I tend to rush when I am excited because I have this fear of boring my audience, and it manifests in me rushing through some scenes. So I make sure the timing is good, that everything makes sense. It is the longest part of the process.

Third draft is when I print it, and I sit down with it and edit it for grammar, auto-correct errors, and such. I also ask myself questions -- “Do I explain this thing earlier?” “Are his eyes always green?” “Do I need this here?”

Then, I open the file, and I make the corrections, and answer the questions. Usually, unless I did a ton of work, that’s my last draft until my publisher and editor do their work.

I think, sometimes, that outlining and doing dossiers first and really building my world might be good…it would give me handles to grab if I left that world for a long time, but I find I do not have the patience. Maybe I would if I was a full time writer, I don’t know.

Cindy Lynn Speer has been writing since she was 13. She has Blue Moon and Unbalanced published by Zumaya. Her other works, including The Chocolatier’s Wife (recently out in an illustrated hardcover to celebrate its 10th anniversary) and the Chocolatier’s Ghost, as well as the short story anthology Wishes and Sorrows. When she is not writing she is either practicing historical swordsmanship, sewing, or pretending she can garden. She also loves road trips and seeing nature. Her secret side hobby is to write really boring bios about herself. You can find out more about her at, or look for her on Facebook (Cindy Lynn Speer) and Twitter (cindylynnspeer).

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