Chocolatier’s Wife

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21 articles in category Chocolatier’s Wife / Subscribe

One of the things that I’m supposed to be doing is creating recipes for chocolate…it’s actually an awesome idea of my editor’s, to create a small give away eBook. I’m also trying to finish two short stories to include, and create some spells. It should be a pretty little thing, both meant as a gift of thanks to people who have bought the book before, and to entice those who haven’t read it yet.

The thing is, I don’t know much about actually making chocolate. I know some…I knew a lot, when I was writing the book, (I take my reader’s bubble of suspension of disbelief seriously…) but I’m not well versed enough to actually create recipes. Even ones I never expect anyone to ever make. Yes, I’m over thinking. So, I’ve been reading and trying to get a grip on the whole process. This weekend, along with the huge pile of sewing (prepping to go to Pennsic) I am going to sit in the middle of my bedroom with a huge stack of books and work my way through and create things that you could believe would work.

That brings me to my subject line. Being far from 40 but also far from 30, I’m at a point where I feel like any opportunity I miss to fence and train is another week, another month, away from my goal of becoming a really great fencer. So to choose not to go to an event is hard. I always feel slightly as if I’m making a mistake.

Which brings me to the Dr! It looks like physical therapy, ultrasound and drugs will get me better in time to fence my heart out and do well. (We Hope.)

I guess I better go read over my short story. A writer’s work is never done. 😀

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The past couple of weeks I’ve been busy going through the proofing process for the second edition of The Chocolatier’s Wife.  The process wasn’t much fun at first, to be honest.  One of the take-aways from this is that you should always, always keep a word document of the latest edits.  I didn’t have a editable copy of the best-edited copy of CW because a few clean up edits were done after it left my hands.  I knew about them because my editor ran them by me, but I didn’t have the copy.

Transferring a whole book from PDF to word, even with the professional equipment, is a mess.  I ended up stripping all the formatting and starting over, and even then I missed stuff.  Thankfully, my new editor has eagle eyes and the patience of a saint.
Now we have a shiny new cover.  Long time readers will point out that you can’t see wind sprites normally, but I like to think that the sun is shining off of them after a bath in the pond.  I think it lovely.
CW will be available soon…the official launch date is July 16th.  To be honest, I’m not sure if it will be in Hard Cover or not, but if you want a hard cover copy let me know, and if enough people are interested maybe we can make some magic happen.  It’s be available in trade paper and all sorts of eBook formats, which is pretty awesome.
I’m working on a lot of stuff right now…a new book that I’m trying to keep writing on so that it doesn’t go to sleep in my head, and a bunch of new short stories for the re-issued anthology and even for, perhaps, a give away eBook if I can get things done.
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Today I’ll be out at Monessen Public Library signing copies of The Chocolatier’s Wife. I’ll even have a couple copies of Blue Moon.

I will be there from 11:00 until 2:00.

Stop by and meet me if you get the chance! (

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Because it’s Celebrate Chocolate Day (and because my publisher is wondrously cool) Drollerie Press is putting The Chocolatier’s Wife on sale at 20% off until July 12th. Also, if anyone blogs, tweets or otherwise advertises the sale, they’ll be eligible to win a 25.00 gift certificate from Fannie May Chocolates. You can find more information…and post the link to your advertisement here.

Also, the wondrous Soleil Noir reviewed the anthology Needles and Bones, and commented about The Train: “Ah, and of course Ms. Speer would be in this anthology. Her voice is so lyrical and poetic that it, too, could be classified as a hybrid. A very satisfying read, and I love the details of the story behind it. Hester is certainly an interesting girl, and she gets an interesting ever-after.”

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OK, I’ve faced it. I know what my problem is, why I can’t write. I’ve given voice to it a couple of times to friends, but I never really believed it…

I can’t write because I’m afraid that anything I write won’t be as good as Chocolatier’s Wife. I know that’s silly, but the whole thing was sort of a miracle. I bit into a piece of chocolate, then walked up stairs and started typing. I knew the whole story, and I couldn’t wait, every night, to sit down and type on it. Since I was sort of doing it for the Gather Contest, I had a relentless deadline, so all I did for the two months it took me to write was eat, sleep, go to work, write. It filled my head and after I was done I was so exhausted I was sick…throwing up and feverish sick…for two days and a weekend because I’d run myself down so much.

And when I was done, I had something that, while I knew had to have flaws, felt…good. Perfect. Every other single thing I’ve done in my life I have these flashes of contentment with, but I’m just sitting there, knowing that a million people can see the flaws and if I don’t see them, too, then I’m being too proud or cocky. I don’t do this with this book. It is one of the things I’m proudest of ever having accomplished, and it makes me feel confident and proud…and I’m not guilty that I feel these things. I’m not saying that the other stuff is not worthy or lovely in its own right…it is, really, and you should read it because it deserves it and will make you (and I keep wanting to insert something like, probably in here, but I won’t) happy. Even with Blue Moon I feel self-conscious. Chocolatier, not a bit.

And the reviews support this. I did something good, that only I could have done, and I actually feel it.

Which has a downside. I keep starting things, and not finishing them. I feel like Chocolatier was the top of my game, and a place that I can’t possibly reach again. That anything else won’t be as good, that people who loved CW won’t like this, and I’ll be a failure.

Now, the cigarette smoking rum drinking Dorothy Parker wanna be that sits in the back of my head, about this time, puts a clove ciggie in its holder, takes a draw, and proceeds to tell me what an idiot I am. Because a) Not everyone likes CW. It’s not possible. Just like there are people who don’t think *gasp* historical fencing is the greatest thing since electricity. Hard to believe, but true. It’s no 8th wonder of the world, it’s just a book that I was lucky enough to have a feel for, that I was motivated enough to actually pound away at. B) That nothing I write will be like CW…thank God. I have other things, other worlds in my head. Good worlds. Characters worthy of being on paper. All I need to do is sit the frak down and do it, and not think about what I’ve done, or whatever, just try my damndest to write something fun and original and good.

I know this. If one of my writer friends came up to me and complained about this, I’d tell them to “Sit down and write. That is the only cure for any of this…sitting down and writing.”

But it’s advice that’s not so easy to do. Partly because I want to finish something, so I keep going back to things I’ve done bits of. Maybe I need to sit down and start something new, despite the fact that feels like I’m giving up and going backwards. But I need to prove to myself that I can do this…I’ve finished three books, for God’s sake…that I really am still a writer, and that nothing in this world, especially my own head, can daunt me or keep me from my goals.

Sounds good. Now let’s see what really happens.

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Feast or famine with posts, isn’t it?

I just updated the page of The Chocolatier’s Wife to include the amazing award I recieved from eBookgurus, (CW was named the book of the month…)

And now, The Long and the Short of it Reviews has given me a wonderful review (4.5 books!).

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As you can see, I survived camping, and will post all about Pennsic soon.  It’s just so overwhelming, I needed time to think about the experiance.  It was wonderful, though, and I am looking forward to next year.

My chat at Library Thing will start very soon, and last all week!  I think this will be the address.  I am looking forward to meeting new readers, answering questions, and just generally schmoozing.

There is also a lovely new interview with me up at Coffee Time Romance!  I really enjoyed it, and am grateful to them for their help.

Speaking of which, Fiction Addiction has opened up a new lounge, which I will be one of the main Hosts of.  This forum will be very friendly…any type of nastiness (which, if you’ve been to a lot of writing boards, you know seems to come with the territory) will be dealt with immediately.  This is going to be an open, friendly and most of all relaxing place, and I am very proud to be assiciated with it, and with Fiction Addiction, which, thanks to the hard work of Apryl Duncan, is looking really spectacular.

My ego boost for the month comes by way of Tina-Sue Ducross:  “Absolutely blog posts, featuring great reads, honest and delightful insight.”  Awww!

My essay on “Forgetting the Muse” is up at Once Written.

Finally, an awesome review of The Chocolatier’s Wife. Front Street reviews says “Likeable and sweet in more ways than one this is a fine piece of fiction with some murder, mystery, magic and fantasy. ” Also, she said on her blog,”This was an interesting read. A little murder mystery, a pinch magical and bit like a fairy tale. The characters were fun and the storyline tasted good ;)” 😀

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And it, along with many other fine books, are on sale! It will be in eBook for now, then in january it’ll be out in paper. It’ll hot Amazon, and be avilable on Kindle, but you can also purchase it from the website or from where ever you usually buy your ebooks.

To celebrate, I decided to start my charatcer interviews. These interviews will be somewhat silly…which means, I hope, that they will be fun to read. Here’s my first interview, with dear William.

Also, if you are willing to feature a review of either Blue Moon or The Chocolatier’s Wife on your website, I would be happy to give you a .PDF copy of either book…just let me know!

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I would like to announce that my second book, The Chocolatier’s Wife, will be published in eBook form June the 20th.  Paperback will follow early 2009.

I am completely in love with the cover, and the inside…the inside is lovely.  firstpagecw.jpg

Every chapter starts with that marvelous graphic.  Deena Fisher has truly created a marvel.

Also, Apryl Duncan from Fiction Addiction conducted a really fantastic interview and featured me in the latest newsletter!  You can read the interview here.

There is also a wonderful review of Blue Moon!

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It’s one of those days when I’ve been getting a lot of little, but important things done.  I updated the Fiction page with a synopsis of The Chocolatier’s Wife, and an excerpt.  I did the final edits on “But Can You Let Him Go?” and sent them to the publisher.  In light of the Cassie Edwards scandal, I’ve been worried that I would get in trouble, but I think I’ve been pretty upfront about the fact that it’s heavily inspired by different Cinderella stories…that while I tried to make the words my own, it is a retelling…

I have another interview to write up, which is exciting.  I wonder at what point my answers will start to sound canned, though?  There are only so many ways to say things.

I think I have finally started a story that I will stick with.  I tend to start a lot of stories, then put them aside until I finally find the one I know.  It’s not Water’s Edge/Twin Stars…I have no idea when that huge thing will be finished…but a new story, about two mages running away from the law, and deciding to hide in the only place no one will find them, a haunted hunting lodge.

I can hear their voices clearly…they are strong voices, not hesitant.  I know who they have been and who they will be…when you know the character’s pasts, when you can hear bits of conversation between them and see things they’ve done so strongly that it’s almost a memory, then you have a book that’s ready to be written.

We can hope, anyway.  With two books coming out this year, then hopefully Balancing Act next, I’ve got less time to dither.  :)  (It’s a rather nifty position to be in, I must say.)

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