Friday, 18 May 2018

From Joey's Instagram

Interview with Cindy Lynn Speer & Review of The Chocolatier's Wife

I am delighted to be welcoming Cindy Lynn Speer to the blog for an interview and my review of her book - The Chocolatier's Wife. Here's a little about Cindy.

I am the author of several books, including the best selling Chocolatie'rs Wife and its sequel, The Chocolatier's Ghost. When not reading or writing I can be found sewing or practicing pre-1600's swordfighting.

And onto the interview!

How long have you been writing?
Since I was thirteen.  I never stopped...I'd write in lunch rooms, while in class instead of taking notes. 

Do you write in the genre you love to read?
Somewhat.  I love fantasy, I love thrillers/mysteries, I love historical, and I take elements from them all when I write.

Do you have any favorite authors to read?
I have a lot of authors I just love to read.  I will stop everything for something new by Barbara Hambly, Lee Child, Preston & Childs, Bernard Cornwell...

Are you an organised writer or not?
I take the mid ground, here.  The first draft is just write, write, write...don't think, don't worry, just get it out.  If I know that I will want to spend more time in this world I try and use software like Liquid Story Binder to capture notes and dossiers on the character, etc.  I use Scrivener to separate out the chapters and work on them in the second draft. 

What's your idea of a perfect writing day?
When I am warm and comfy, there is tea at hand, I don't have any distractions, and I can just sit and create.  And when they are really good days, the words come so easy, and everything makes sense.  That's the best feeling, ever.

Do you like editing or is it something you loathe?
When it is someone else editing my work and I'm sitting down getting ready to see what they say, I hate it.  But I remind myself that they are on my side.  That they are trying to help me make the best version of my book possible.  That they are the first reader.  And if they see something wrong, future readers will see something wrong, too.  So I work on everything they say, take is seriously, and try and fix everything.

What's your favourite social media? And why?
Tumblr, because that is where all the beautiful pictures live.

Do you do character profiles? If so, why/why not?
Only if they will be referred to in a future project.  When I am writing the book, I have all the data uploaded into my head, so I am not worried that I will forget anything about them, but when it's gone cold for a while, I need notes to get me up to speed.

Do you have a favourite writing food? Drink?
I love tea.  But then, I am not sure if you can call that a writing specific food.  But for me, it is an antidote to a lot of things.  Feeling hungry?  Cruddy?  Like you might like to murder someone?  Tea!  Want to feel happy and comfortable so you can sit and concentrate on writing?  Tea!

What's your favourite idea of a cozy afternoon?
Right now it's an electric blanket, an electric kettle (tea!) and  a pile of books. 

How often do you write? Do you have a schedule?
Right now my schedule is wrecked.  So I have to sit down and make a habit of writing again.  Every day.  Write a bit.  Try and make 2,000 words.  Whenever you have time, write.


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

My review: 5 stars
I loved this book! I'm not usually one for fantasy, but with the added mystery it, I was pulled in from the first page. The idea of magic weaved into the story in such a way that there was the history of the world given to you in bite-sized doses. I read this in two days because I just couldn't put it down! Excellent writing and story-telling, and knowing there's a second book out I am planning to pick up the next one in the series. Brilliant book and highly recommended!

You can follow Cindy on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

From Joey's Instagram

And the cover reveal is live! Walk A Mile has a cover! Check out the video here: #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #authortube #authortuber #writingvlog #coverreveal #WAM #WalkAMile #bookrelease #amreading #readersofinstagram #bookworm

Cover Reveal - Walk A Mile [CC]

My thanks to Joel, Madalena, Gillon, Julie, Siri s, Mugdha, Melanie, Davianna, Pirya and Uday for help with the cover reveal. Their blogs are listed below:

DAVIANNA: http:///

AND thanks to for the awesome cover reveal graphic!


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

From Joey's Instagram

And #DTSC is live! You can grab your copy in paperback or ebook at Amazon and loads of other stores! The link for the ebook is: 📚 HAPPY RELEASE DAY! 🎉🎉🎉 📚 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #bookrelease #amreading #readersofinstagram #bookworm #bookboost #dyingthoughts #books #igreaders #igauthors #igwriters #DyingThoughts6 #yalit

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

From Joey's Instagram

1 day to #DTSC! Release day is tomorrow! And the one thing that hasn't changed is Tara still wants to join the police. But will she make it? 📚 Pre-order here: 📚 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #yalit #readersofinstagram #amreading #books #igreaders #igauthors #igwriters #DyingThoughts6 #dyingthoughts #bookrelease #bookboost #bookworm

Monday, 14 May 2018

The Trials Of A Crime Writer: Crafting A Killer


If there's one thing I've learnt since I started writing crime fiction back in the day it's that killers and criminals come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be pretty much any age and can have a wide variety of motives. When you sit down to plan out your crime novel, you're gonna be looking at ways to craft a killer that both leaves everyone guessing until the big reveal, and makes sense for your story. I thought I would do a piece on five tips to remember when you're plotting out your killer and their backstory and what have you.

I know that it's the big thing that people talk about on crime shows, they want to know the "why" someone does something. Now while it's not always needed to prosecute, it is needed in a book. In my experience, if you can't give a good reason for why the killer does something, then you've missed a pretty important step. The other issue is that the motive needs to be believable. I know sometimes coming up with a convoluted motive can be fun, but it has to make sense. It can't just be "because they're evil". That's not a motive, it's an excuse and it doesn't really jive with how things work in the real world. While yes it can be a reason for some of the motive, it's not the whole motive.

If you're writing a serial killer, which y'know, happens in crime fiction, then who they kill is important. While serial killers are rare in the real world, there is still a lot known about them, and that knowledge can help you in the fictional world. Even if you're not writing a serial killer, who they choose to kill can be as important as their motive. If you're writing someone forced by circumstance to kill someone to save their family, that's going to be a different experience than say, someone who got into a fight with the intent to kill. Their victim is important and how you portray them is too.

This is where people go overboard sometimes. It's not always relevant to include every little detail about your killers childhood, including the time they were called mean names in primary school. Some details will be relevant and it's always good to have some idea about it all even if you never use it. However, I would warn to try and avoid the tragic backstory trope. Not all killers have a tragic backstory and even if they do, it doesn't explain or excuse the way they're behaving now. They are, after all, a killer. But this is also a place where you can have a little fun with your imagination. Because the majority of it won't make it onto the page you can go big and even if you're the only person who knows everything, it's still pretty cool for those snippets to share with your fanbase should the time arise.

Now as someone who writes dark fiction, and is pretty damn unapologetic about it, I know that some of you will be looking at this and thinking: huh? My point isn't that you can't have dark scenes, but that the whole book doesn't have to be dark scene to dark scene and on and on it goes. There can be some light, and that is also true when it comes to crafting a killer. You don't have to depict every violent step they take, you can leave some things for the reader to imagine. In doing that you create different scenes depending on the reader. You also create darkness without having to describe it. When a killer is doing their thing, you can leave some of the grisly details for the reader to interpret.


I know that sometimes it feels like you have to kill a ton of characters otherwise you'll lose the suspense and that's just not true. You can build the suspense by doing other things than dropping a new body. On top of that, considering point one, sometimes the motive is only going to apply to one person. Sometimes killers are driven by more than a body count, like jealously and rage and anger and fear. There are so many different reasons to cross that line, but just because they did it once, doesn't mean they'd do it again. That's a big point to remember. If your motive is one thing, you can't change it because you want to add a new victim and up the tension.

So those are my five tips for how to craft a killer. Usually when I post a piece like this, I get emails telling me that I shouldn't write on this subject because of the effects it has on the general public. And while I get it on some level, I just want to say: guys, it's fiction! I am not, and never would be, writing about my own murderous ways! So you have any tips or tricks on crafting a killer? Leave them in the comments below!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books. 

From Joey's Instagram

2 days to go until #DTSC! One of Tara's fears is that Mike won't want to work with her. Find out more in 2 days time! 📚 Pre-order here: 📚 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #bookrelease #amreading #readersofinstagram #bookworm #bookboost #dyingthoughts #books #igreaders #igauthors #dyingthoughts6 #yalit

Sunday, 13 May 2018

From Joey's Instagram

3 days to go until #DTSC! Considering Tara never planned to do A-levels she certainly was quick in her choices! 📚 Pre-order here: 📚 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #yalit #bookrelease #amreading #readersofinstagram #bookworm #bookboost #dyingthoughts #books #igreaders #igauthors #igwriters #DyingThoughts6

Saturday, 12 May 2018

From Joey's Instagram

4 days to go until #DTSC! Tara has gotten better at life. More social. Even made more friends! The changes are everywhere! 📚 Pre-order here: 📚 #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #yalit #bookrelease #amreading #readersofinstagram #bookworm #bookboost #dyingthoughts #books #igreaders #igauthors #igwriters #DyingThoughts6