The Chocolatier’s Wife &
The Chocolatier’s Ghost
by Cindy Lynn Speer
GENRE: Fantasy Mystery
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.
Murder. Funny, how the idea of one’s future husband killing someone made headaches go away. It was not that she could not conceive that he was a killer; anyone who read the shipping information at the back of the newspaper, listing, among other things, the manifests of pirate ships that had been taken and destroyed, would know William was quite capable of killing. But, she reasoned, that was hot blooded killing, it was not murder. Poisoning someone with chocolate required coldness and cunning.
She moved at last, only enough to take her hair down. She stared at the pins in her hands. No. She could not believe that William was capable of cunning. He was smart, aye. But practical smart. Not without imagination, of course, you could not accuse a man who wanted to make chocolates of a lack of imagination, but he was also not the sort of man to go around blithely killing people with the very product he hoped to sell. She could not believe it.
After a while, the surprise wearing off, she tried to imagine the two paths her life might take. She thought of being at the university. She had trained there, and so she had friends as well as colleagues among the staff. Eventually she would have the seniority to teach only the advanced students, perhaps even ascend to the Circle, as her mother hoped. A life of teaching and learning how to use herbs, divining the secret meanings hidden in the wind, the rain, and the veins of leaves was hers. She was no master wizard, but she was very, very good, and she knew her life was mapped out for her here, a scholarly life of respect and decent wages and wanting for nothing. It was, clearly, a good life, which was why her family wanted it for her.
Then there was William. She tried to imagine him, blurry in her mind, by her side. A life of children, shop-keeping. It did not seem as glamorous or interesting, though she trusted she would be able to continue her studies and believed that William would provide for her, but her fame would be as his wife alone. No one would remember her save their children. Still, it was not without its appeal, the idea of having someone who was all yours, someone to curl up against in the winter. It was harder to imagine the future, here, for she knew so little in comparison. The unknown could hold pain as well as joy.
She sighed, and went to bed, in a restless attempt at sleep for what remained of the night.
When she came down the next day she had two cases in her hands, and she was wearing her best traveling clothes. Her family looked up at her from their breakfast, as she put the heavier of the two down, her hands switching the other bag back and forth, nervous and moist on the hard, wooden handle. “You see,” she said by way of good-morning-and-here’s-my-explanation, “the problem is that I rather like him.”
What are four things you can’t live without?
Electric Blankets. I love being warm, and they make my knees feel better.
Something to write on or with, because I love telling stories and because I have the memory of a deranged goldfish.
Tea. Mostly black or flavored black. I drink a lot of tea to keep me sane.
Books. I need to feed my soul with good stories.
What is your favorite television show?
I don’t know. I love Marvel’s stuff, I especially loved Jessica Jones and am eagerly awaiting the Defenders. Both Sherlock and Elementary make me happy for different reasons, but The Musketeers was the one I bought immediately on DVD. Interesting characters and swordiness? How can I resist?
If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?
I always had a secret desire to play Lady MacBeth. But I would not want to be her, because things don’t go so well. I think maybe I would like to be Tasmin – I know that sounds a bit cute, because she’s my character, but to me she has a lot going for her. She has a good person as her spouse, interesting people as friends, and she’s getting to pursue her dreams. (Mostly.) I think I would like that. Her mother in law? Not so much.
What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
Next year I hope to have The Key to All Things out. It is unrelated to The Chocolatier’s series (though I throw a couple of Easter Eggs in for my readers, little AHA moments) and is about a lady who serves as a double agent. Everyone loves the great love story between the Captain of the Guard, Edward, and the Queen of the Fae – except for Avril, who knows it is all a lie.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Barbara Hambly – I love how she writes characters and settings (and really, everything.) Neil Gaiman — his short stories inspired me and taught me so much about that form. I use George F. Kunz’s Curious Lore of Precious Stones way too much as a reference.
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 http://www.cindylynnspeer.com, or look for her on Facebook (Cindy Lynn Speer) and Twitter (cindylynnspeer).
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