Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for 'Snippet Sunday' every week and guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

SEE ALL MY BOOKS

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Choclatier's wife and the Choclatier's Ghost = Spotlight and #Giveaway


The Chocolatier's Wife &
The Chocolatier's Ghost
by Cindy Lynn Speer

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Fantasy Mystery

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

The Chocolatier's Wife: ROMANCE, MAGIC, MYSTERY.... AND CHOCOLATE

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.

The Chocolatier's Ghost: Married 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT:

Chocolatier’s Wife 1

Time was, in the kingdom of Berengeny, that no one picked their spouses. No one courted—not officially, at any rate—and no one married in a moment’s foolish passion. It was the charge of the town Wise Woman, who would fill her spell bowl with clear, pure water; a little salt; and the essence of roses, and rosemary, and sage. Next, she would prick the finger of the newborn child and let his or her blood drip into the potion. If a face showed in the waters, then it was known that the best possible mate (they never said true love, for that was the stuff of foolish fancy) had been born, and the Wise Woman could then tell where the future spouse lived, and arrangements were made.

For the parents of William of the House of Almsley, this process would turn out to be less than pleasant.

The first year that the baby William’s finger was pricked and nothing showed, the Wise Woman said, “Fear not, a wife is often younger than the husband.”

The second, third, and even fifth year she said much the same.

But you see, since the spell was meant to choose the best match—not the true love—of the heart the blood in the bowl belonged to, this did not mean, as years passed, that the boy was special. It meant that he would be impossible to live with.

On his seventh birthday, it seemed everyone had quite forgotten all about visiting the Wise Woman until William, who knew this of long habit to be a major part of his day--along with cake, a new toy, and a new set of clothes--tugged on his mother’s skirt and asked when they were going. She stared at him a long moment, tea cup in hand, before sighing and calling for the carriage. She didn’t even bother to change into formal clothes this time, and the Wise Woman seemed surprised to see them at all. “Well, we might as well try while you’re here,” she said, her voice obviously doubtful.

William obediently held out the ring finger on his left hand and watched as the blood dripped into the bowl. “She has dark brown eyes,” William observed, “and some hair already.” He shrugged, and looked at the two women. “I suppose she’ll do. I’m just glad ‘tis over, and that I can go on with my life.”

“For you, perhaps,” his mother said, thinking of what she would now have to accomplish.

“Do not fret, mother, I shall write a letter to the little girl. Not that she can read it, anyway.” He petted his mother’s arm. He was a sweet boy, but he was always charging forward, never worrying about feelings.

The Wise Woman rolled out an elegantly painted silk map of the kingdom and all its regions, his mother smoothed the fabric across the table, and then the Wise Woman dipped a brass weight into the bowl. Henriette, William’s mother, placed her hands on William’s shoulders as the Wise Woman held the weight, suspended, over the map.

Henriette held her breath, waiting to see where it would land. Andrew, her younger son, had his intended living just down the street, which was quite convenient. At least they knew what they were getting into immediately.

The plumb-bob made huge circles around the map, spinning and spinning as the Wise Woman recited the words over and over. It stopped, stiffly pointing toward the North.

“Tarnia? Not possible, nor even probable. You must try again!”

For once, William’s mother wasn’t being stubbornly demanding. Tarnia, a place of cruel and wild magic, was the last place from whence one would wish a bride. They did not have Wise Women there, for anyone could perform spells. The Hags of the North ate their dead and sent the harsh winter wind to ravage the crops of the people of the South. Five hundred years ago, the North and the South had fought a bitter war over a cause no one could quite remember, only that it had been a brutal thing, and that many had died, and it led to the South losing most of its magic. Though the war was long over and the two supposedly united again, memory lingered. “I have cast it twice.” The Wise Woman chewed her lower lip, but therewas naught else she could do.

“Not Tarnia, please?” Henriette, usually a rather fierce and cold woman, begged.

“I am afraid so.” The Wise Woman began cleaning up; her shoulders set a little lower. “I am sorry.”

William, staring out the window at the children playing outside, couldn’t care less. What did it matter where anyone was from? She was a baby, and babies didn’t cause that much trouble.

“Only you, William,” his mother said, shaking her head. “Why can you not do anything normal?”

This was to be the tenor of most of their conversations throughout their lives.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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 www.cindylynnspeer.com, or look for her on Facebook (Cindy Lynn Speer) and Twitter (cindylynnspeer).


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Balancing Life and Writing
The hardest challenge I have ever faced as a writer is balancing life and writing.
There is not enough time to do everything you want -- for years I felt like my sword fighting self (I practice historical swordsmanship) and writing self were two different people, each vying for attention, each vying for a slice of time between work and chores and collapse time.

Neither of them have ever won. Neither of them ever will. Some weeks the fencer girl will get more time -- maybe there is a championship to prepare for, or a class to develop, or just the need for sword time. She is the keeper of the body and the analytic mind, and I need her, just as much as I need the writer. Through
fencing I improve and maintain my body, and I keep the chess playing part of my brain sharp. And it’s my number one way of socializing outside of work. Number one. That suggests there are other ways. Ha ha. Nope. The hermit part of me would riot.

I want to tell you that I have found a secret, a way of having it all. I can’t -- I still feel like my life is a roller coaster of crazy. Sometimes I am safely buckled into the car, sometimes I am running, flailing and screaming like Captain Jack  Sparrow, down the tracks and trying to keep from being run over. But I can tell you that it is possible to feel like you are doing all right by following some easy steps.

1. Make time, because your writing is worth it. Everyone says you can make time every day. Sometimes I think that is highly optimistic of them. I really do believe that people write better on a schedule, and if that’s you – if the writing HABIT is important to maintain, try and find a couple of days a week where you have one hour that is all yours. Those you never skip. Because if you skip for a good reason, it’s easy to skip for a bad one.

Then, if you can squeeze in ten minutes, twenty, a couple of hours on the other days, that’s bonus. That’s pat yourself on the back and feel awesome time. I am a big believer in making goals that one can meet and exceeding them, rather than shooting too high and feeling cruddy. (Shooting a little high is good, though.)

2. You will fail. Know this. There will be weeks where you will have to take the kids to practice, where you will hate writing and everything, be planning a wedding or other major life event. That’s OK. So many people let themselves feel like crap over things and then they get guilty and ignore it and then it becomes easier and easier to just not come back.

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself and come back to the table.

3. It is hard work but it is always worth it.

So that’s my not really very helpful but maybe somewhat comforting advice on balancing things. What do you think? What goals do you have that you are trying to squeeze in between life things?

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.





For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

22 comments:

  1. I have the books on my reading list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too - how could one resist a romantic fantasy with chocolate!

      Delete
  2. I really enjoyed reading the guest post, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed reading your excerpt to get to know your book; congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment - good luck with the contest.

      Delete
  4. I like the excerpt!

    --Trix

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great excerpt wasn't it Trix! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  5. This does sound like a book I'd love to read, especially as I did date a choclatier in college! He got to taste chocolate all day long!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rose-Marie - I dream of being a choclatier! :) This sounds like a wonderful series doesn't it!

      Delete
  6. Sorry not to have welcomed you to my blog before,Cindy, I've been 'in and out' all day. I love the sound of your books and look forward to reading them.Wishing you much success and hoping your tour brings you lots of new readers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great post - thanks for sharing the excerpt!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Victoria, so glad you enjoyed the post, thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I enjoyed the excerpt...sounds like William and I share the same kind of relationship luck...lol..
    Thanks for the chance at the giveaway

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Maria - I think a lot of people could relate to William! :) Thanks so much for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I applaud you for finding ways to balance your work and personal life! It is a struggle we all face!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly is, isn't it, Sue - and there's some great advice there from Cindy.

      Delete

Thank you SO much for commenting - I LOVE comments and value each and every one. If you could also follow this blog that would be great - just leave me a comment to tell me you've followed, with your own blog addy and I'll happily follow you back! I will never share your email address or other information with anyone or any organisation.