What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
A group of friends recently got together and spent over 300 hours sewing, embroidering and beading a fencing cloak as a present for me. To be honest I am extremely lucky in my friends, and they often do nice things for me, like bring me tea or a flower randomly.
How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
On a vacation. I’d love to say I’d do something sensible, but I always spend any spare cash I have on travel. I would probably spend it on going somewhere in Europe or the UK. Recently a cheap airline has come in locally, so I’ve been eyeballing the airfares to England and Scotland, which I’ve wanted to visit all my life.
Where do you get your best ideas?
I tend to think ideas form organically, that you feed this part of your mind…it’s like a compost heap, I guess? You feed your muse with everything you see and do…every experience, every book, every photo, and that part of your mind chomps away at it, turns it into the base elements it needs to cobble together the story you are about to tell. Now I have this image of a steam punk robot taking apart things for spare parts and putting them together in her lab…
What comes first, the plot or characters?
It changes…mostly it is about characters, and my desire to see them in a story. The next story I may be working on started with a vision of this man, dressed up in furs and a uniform like a 1800’s soldier, playing with little foxes of fire that ran along his knuckles. I knew he missed his now dead wife, but that he was mostly content being a soldier. I knew I wanted to challenge that, but how? Then I was sick and on bed rest for a week, and I thought, what if there was an assassination attempt on a princess, so to protect her they sent out a bunch of princesses, in all directions, who looked exactly like her? So while I was playing with the mechanics of that, my soldier showed up, with his little foxes made of flame, and I thought, OK, I think we have a match.
What does your main character do that makes him/her special.
William is a former merchant sea captain – a very (generically speaking) masculine, hard, unpretentious job – who thought, one day, he’s like to quit the sea and make chocolate, because it would sell well and make people happy. I like the contrast of this man, who would chase down pirates and slavers and slaughter them without as part of his sense of duty, yet come home and cook candy, collect molds, and potter around and be happy that way.
Tasmin is also a person of contrasts. She is very self-possessed, she knows that she is smart, loves studying, and approaches life very practically, more so than her husband. When she is freed, though, and can go do anything she wants, she still goes to see what happened – she still wants to make her life with him, even though she knows it means suborning or putting off her goals. So she’s interesting because she is like a lot of us, balancing everything.
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.
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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).
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